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Home » Spinal Injuries Association announce project launch of the Frank Williams Academy at reception attended by HRH The Princess Royal

Spinal Injuries Association announce project launch of the Frank Williams Academy at reception attended by HRH The Princess Royal

by Leah Llano

The launch of the Frank Williams Academy, pioneered by the Spinal Injuries Association (SIA), the Official Charity of the Williams F1 team  was announced today at a reception at Hoare Memorial Hall in Westminster attended by the charity’s patron, HRH The Princess Royal.

Also attending was Claire Williams, daughter of the motor racing legend Frank Williams and Vice President of SIA who was there to  honour her father’s legacy and his achievements whilst living with a spinal cord injury. Following Sir Frank’s car accident in 1986 SIA was integral to his recovery and return to work, with the team he founded achieving nine Formula One World Championship Constructors’ Titles. SIA have been the team’s Official Charity since 2015, with Claire Williams being their Vice President since 2016.

The Frank Williams Academy will support SIA’s vision of a fulfilled life for everyone affected by spinal cord injury by building vital specialist expertise across the health and care sector. Claire Williams is spearheading an appeal to raise £1.5m to launch and establish the Academy during its early years. Funding will be used to help educate and train those affected by spinal cord injuries and healthcare professionals to ensure safe, appropriate care is provided. Through research and development, the Academy intends to champion best practice, raise national standards and build an evidence base to influence long-term transformational change.

During the upcoming 2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix, the Frank Williams Academy logo will run on the FW45’s of both Alex Albon and Logan Sargeant.

L-R  Claire Williams, Anna Saunders SIA’s director of business development with HRH The Princess Royal.

Matthew Savage, Chairman of the Board, Williams Racing: “We’re delighted to support the launch of the Frank Williams Academy. To honour Sir Frank’s life by providing fundamental education, care and support to change the lives of people affected by spinal cord injuries is truly special. Everyone at Williams Racing is looking forward to helping the Academy flourish.”

Claire Williams, Vice President, SIA: “My father lived the most extraordinary life, not least as one of the most successful Team Principals in the history of the sport and doing so from a wheelchair as a tetraplegic for the greater part of it. His tenacity in the face of this adversity was just one of the many things that made him such an inspiration to many while he was alive. Following his death, I wanted to do something to continue that legacy, and the Frank Williams Academy couldn’t be a more fitting tribute. The work that the Academy will do will provide potentially life changing care for spinal cord injured people, just as the SIA did for my dad. With that support, the bounds of possibility are endless.”   

Nik Hartley, CEO, Spinal Injuries Association: “The launch of the Frank Williams Academy is momentous, not only for SIA but for spinal cord injured people across the UK. Inspired by Sir Frank’s success and motivated by the challenges he faced, the vision is to completely transform the availability of specialist expertise in health and care so that anyone anywhere has the best chance of a fulfilled life after injury. Sir Frank was the living example of such a life. We’re so grateful to his daughter, our amazing Vice President, Claire Williams and to Williams Racing for backing this.”

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