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Community help 12-year-old racer get back on track after burglars steal his go-kart

PUBLISHED: 15:33 14 October 2018 | UPDATED: 15:33 14 October 2018

Matthew Hawkins had his go-kart stolen from his home in September 2017. 
Picture: Nick Butcher

Matthew Hawkins had his go-kart stolen from his home in September 2017. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2017

Burglars who stole a 12-year-old boy’s go-kart could not take away his dream of becoming a Formula One driver after the community rallied round to get him back on track.

Mathew Hawkins, 12, was able to compete at racing events again after the community helped fundraise for a new go-kart. Picture: Chris HawkinsMathew Hawkins, 12, was able to compete at racing events again after the community helped fundraise for a new go-kart. Picture: Chris Hawkins

Matthew Hawkins, from Costessey, broke down in tears after finding his go-kart had been stolen from his home garage on September 14, 2017, just days before he was due to compete at an event in Wales.

Matthew, who had started karting with the National Schools and Youth Group Karting Association (NatSKA) in March of that year, had just been gearing up for the new season.

He and his father, Chris Hawkins, had worked tirelessly to build the beloved go-kart, and even a year later they are still clueless as to who may have taken it.

Matthew Hawkins in his new go-kart. Picture: Chris HawkinsMatthew Hawkins in his new go-kart. Picture: Chris Hawkins

Moved by his story, the community came together to get Matthew racing again and it was not long before he was able to compete in a new go-kart.

Family friend Nathan Dack, of Nathan Dack Caravans, in Norwich, set up a fundraising page which raised more than £1,000 to go towards a new go-kart, with Gavin Wright of Gavin Wright Ceramic Tiling, in Taverham, donating £100.

As the replacement kart was being built, Matthew was given one to borrow in order to compete at Whilton Mill, near Northampton, on September 30 last year.

After his kart was stolen in September 2017, Mathew Hawkins was able to get back on track and win three trophies at go-karting events. Picture: Chris HawkinsAfter his kart was stolen in September 2017, Mathew Hawkins was able to get back on track and win three trophies at go-karting events. Picture: Chris Hawkins

Rollerdor, in Bowthorpe, fitted a new garage door to help secure the new kart and Breckland Finishing Ltd, in Thetford, stripped and powder coated Matthew’s kart chassis free of charge after hearing of the theft.

At the start of November last year, less than two months after his kart was stolen, Matthew was back on the racetrack at Camberley, Surrey.

Since then, he has won three trophies and has risen to fifth place in the NatSKA championships.

Christopher Hawkins with his son, Matthew. 
Picture: Nick ButcherChristopher Hawkins with his son, Matthew. Picture: Nick Butcher

Mr Hawkins said his son was elated to be back behind the wheel, adding: “He was devastated when it was stolen but seeing the money coming in and to realise he could compete again, it was really good.

“I am extremely grateful, I’d like to thank everybody who has helped, so many people have donated large amounts.”

To sponsor Matthew Hawkins, visit his Facebook page @matthewhawkinskarting

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