Tragedy affects all of us; but do all of us effect change from it?

Monday 27th May 2019

On October 15, 2013, Daphne Mckinley Edwards was faced with a situation that no parent should ever have to experience. Her 26-year-old son had been killed in a motorsport accident; one that could have been prevented if improved safety measures had been considered and implemented.

‘We will not bury our heads beneath the tarmac’

Tragedy affects all of us, but do all of us effect change from it? The answer is simply – no. Displaying an extraordinary sense of resilience and using the death of her son as a trigger to ignite change, to prevent the deaths of other young sports stars and to keep the memory of Sean alive, Daphne Mckinley Edwards (daphne linked in account - initiated the Sean Edwards Foundation

The initial objective of the foundation to improve awareness of safety in motorsport was both a bold and a challenging task, particularly for a woman dealing with such tragic circumstances. Despite this, Daphne was moved to act to ensure that her son did not die in vain. There seems to be a fearlessness that comes with losing hope which in certain situations can be engineered to achieve great things – the SEF is proof of this.

Five key goals anchor the strategy of the foundation:

· Promoting critical issue awareness
· Creating safety education programs
· Advocating for needed changes or regulations
· Implementing standardized safety assessment tools
· Lobbying stakeholders to create mutually beneficial solutions

Daphne’s unwavering focus to achieve the goals she has set is abundantly clear and driven by a passion which some could argue that only a mother could understand, Daphne (Edwards) Mckinley has thrown herself into the task of ensuring that the legacy of Sean lives on through the changes she is making in the motorsport industry.

‘I want to set a new standard; the Sean Edwards Standard’
As the foundation has grown, so have Daphne’s aspirations. Daphne has achieved a remarkable amount in five years and the introduction of the Sean Edwards Test is both revolutionary and inspired. The SET was introduced as a pilot program at SRO GT series races in 2015. Since then, thousands of drivers have participated and the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive. The recognition that awareness and training need to be accessible has been key and the test is designed to account for the increasingly global nature of motorsport competition.

The SEF has amassed a wealth of support from world-class racers including Lewis Hamilton and Daniel Ricciardo, as well as a growing team of ambassadors who are integral to the success of the foundation; raising awareness and amplifying the message to improve safety in motorsports worldwide and on every level. Collaborators include the FIA, SRO Motorsports Group and the British Motorsports Marshals Club.

The focus for 2019 is for the Sean Edwards Test to continue in its evolution, and Daphne is currently working on new developments which will see information and training available in an app format.

‘We will not bury our heads beneath the tarmac’

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