Police and youth drag racing? Not a likely combination?
Beat The Heat Victoria is exactly that – founded in 2015 and run by off-duty police officers, Beat the Heat is a program that runs drag racing events with the goal of changing the lives of at-risk youths.
TURNING LIVES AROUND
The Beat the Heat has turned around the lives of many at-risk youths – some who now work within the community and volunteer their time with the program.
Through partnerships with motoring clubs, at-risk youth are given a chance to gain valuable skills with leadership roles and the chance to compete in local drag race competitions. This provides youths in the community with a level of responsibility and respect that they might have had difficulty achieving otherwise.
“Our program is all about supporting youth to become the best that they can be, whether that be the youth who are interested in automotive and are already on their way into automotive, right through to youth who are disengaged, isolated and had a history of being in trouble,” says Senior Constable Danielle Richardson, a member of Beat The Heat Victoria.
Richardson works with youth through races, clubs and local high schools, as well as getting them involved in hands-on activities such as rebuilding a ‘police themed’ motorsport car from the 1990s.
MAKING A DIFFERENCE
By tapping into their passion for cars and motorsport, Beat the Heat creates an alliance between at-risk youth and the police. In addition to drag racing, the program teaches car maintenance skills and opens the doors to employment opportunities through partnerships with local car clubs.
Beat The Heat’s unique approach encourages young people to not only drive responsibly, but it also gives them the tools to make a difference in their communities and their own lives.
POSTIVE POLICE INTERACTIONS
For many young people, often the first interaction they have with the Police is negative – Beat the Heat aims to change that.
Events are held where at-risk youth can test their drag racing skills, not only on each other, but also head-to-head against the police! This creates a positive interaction in a fun, fast and safe environment.
NOT FOR PROFIT
Beat The Heat is a not for profit organisation and relies totally on community support, donations and volunteers to run their programs. Receiving no funding from government grants or from Victorian Police, it relies solely on members from the local police force and the community to donate their time to the program.
Beat the Heat relies on VACC affiliated businesses along with local car clubs to run community youth events. These businesses are carefully selected to ensure that they share the same values and goals of supporting at-risk youth in our communities for greater synergy and positive impact for all involved in the program.
It’s thanks to the support of these sponsors and the community that Beat The Heat has turned around the lives of hundreds of at-risk youth and is able to continue to make a huge difference in the local community.