Ben Felten

 

Ben Felten is the world’s fastest blind motorcycle rider.

In March 2018 Ben achieved the Guinness World Record for fastest speed for a motorcycle ridden blindfolded on a salt lake in outback South Australia achieving an average speed of 272km/h.

This remarkable feat is just the latest in a long line of memorable achievements from Ben who has led a truly inspiring life. All the more amazing is that Ben’s successes have been achieved despite the fact that he was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa at 15 years of age which eventually rendered him totally blind by the age of 37.

Ben has never let his blindness stop him from achieving his dreams and amongst his other notable sporting achievements Ben was a multiple world rowing champion before going on to play in World Cup and Ashes tours with the Australian blind cricket team.

Despite this success in other sporting areas, motorsport was always Ben’s passion. He started riding trail bikes at the age of seven and bought his first bike at 13 years of age. With his competitive nature and love of riding fast he has been working towards his goal of breaking the world speed record for the past four years and his commitment and perseverance finally paid off.

It is not only in the sporting arena where Ben has excelled. He has always wanted to make a positive difference for people with a disability. He set up the Nepean Blind Sports Club, established Sailability Penrith Lakes and became Co-ordinator of the Western Sydney NSW Sports Council for the Disabled. His most recent achievement is the establishment of the In Sight of Dreams foundation which aims to Inspire & enable people who live with an acquired disability to prepare for life and achieve their dreams, through programs aimed at personal and professional development, life planning, skills acquisition and training.

It is Ben’s passion for inclusivity that has set him apart from other advocates who aim to give people with a disability opportunities. He encourages everyone, with or without a disability to pursue their dreams and to believe that anything is possible. Ben is living proof of that.

Ben was also Penrith City Council’s Disabilities Access Officer for just over 10 years from February 2004 to July 2015. It was Ben’s job to help make the City and all it has to offer accessible for everyone and he was very well suited to this role, having experienced life both with and without sight. Ben was able to bring to this role practical experience and understanding and largely through his efforts he was successful in making it easier for people to gain access to Council services and the wider community.