Colin and Sharon Williams have been long-time fans of Kawasaki racer and fellow countryman, Tom Sykes.
After the paralysis suffered by former Kawasaki Racing Team rider Joan Lascorz, an online auction of Tom Sykes’ specially painted ’17 Power For Lascorz’ crash helmet was won by British couple, and long-time Tom Sykes fans, Colin and Sharon Williams.
The winning bid of £8,100UK (€9,702 Euros at that time), was passed onto Joan to aid his rehabilitation process and, as part of the prize, Colin and Sharon were invited into the heart of the KRT squad at the recent Monza World Superbike race weekend.
Colin was blown away by the experience of becoming part of the team itself for the Monza round, and the couple’s weekend was rounded off by receiving two massive ‘goody bags’ of Kawasaki and racing team merchandise to take home as a set of souvenirs of a memorable weekend away.
Said Colin, shortly before watching Tom Sykes score two fabulous podiums on raceday, “This has been an unbelievable race weekend. It is like rock and roll for us and I feel lost for words. The experience of coming to the race as guests of the official Kawasaki team is something else.
“Bidding for the helmet and winning it was very significant for different reasons but this has been fantastic. In the auction it did say that two people could attend a race meeting as guests. The team have been marvellous and even paid for our accommodation as well as many other things we simply did not anticipate.
“It started with the presentation of the actual helmet by Tom Sykes at the Motorcycle Live show in the UK late last year, now it and has snowballed into something outrageous. Kawasaki as a company as well as the racing team plus Tom and his father-in-law John Hackett have all been amazing with us. In fact, we met Tom’s grandfather Peter today in the Pit Box and he has been phenomenal too. These people have let us into their world and we are really quite emotional about it, I cannot find the words. This has to rank as one of the biggest experiences of our lives.”
For factory worker Colin and his wife Sharon the winning bid was important at the time, given their own particular family circumstances. Initially tempted to bid himself, it’s safe to say that Colin was surprised to find that Sharon had made the final winning bid with money they had been saving to pay for a new kitchen at home in the North West of England! It is also safe to say that he was incredibly happy she did so.
“We got what we asked for in bidding for and winning the Lascorz helmet,” said Colin, “but at Monza we did not expect any of this and, to be fair, it was not simply about owning the helmet. Our 21-year-old son Andrew has cerebral palsy and is in a wheelchair, so we are very aware of the realities of disability. We followed the Kawasaki team at first because of Tom, but when we found out that Joan had been seriously hurt in a testing accident and, as events unfolded, paralysed, it does have an impact on how you feel.
“Sharon and myself are touched that there is such a level of concern for Joan’s welfare and delighted that the money went to such a good cause. Of course, we both wish Joan all the best for his future. For us it has truly been the experience of a lifetime. We have the helmet at home in pride of pace and literally hundreds of happy memories of a weekend we will never, ever forget.”