Young special needs racers experience 'thrill of the hill' - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Young special needs racers experience 'thrill of the hill'

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It's just about the only hill in the Houston area. And twice a year, a group of special needs children gets to be "king of the hill."

The event is called Super Kids. It's a race put on by the Greater Houston Soap Box Derby at their track in Hockley.

"It's the look on the kids' faces when they get to the finish line," said Ken Bryant, a director with the organization.

Each Super Kid is accompanied by an experienced pilot in a specially-designed two-seater racer. They hit speeds of up to 30 miles an hour -- just inches off the pavement -- as the car hurtles to the bottom, pulled by gravity.

Soap box derby racing traditionally involves single-seat vehicles.

The Super Kids event was born after Vietnam Vet volunteers were asked an obvious question by a competitor's special-needs sibling.

"'How come he gets to do this and I can't do this?'" recounted Kathy Higginbotham, the track's announcer. "And the veterans of course decided, well, we've got to change this."

Ever since, developmentally disabled children have been able to experience what Higginbotham calls "the thrill of the hill."

The next Super Kids race is on October 5 and it is free of charge.

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