Mission soapbox derby has a long history

All kids can compete in the sport of soap box derby

Mission has a long and honourable history in the sport of soap box derby racing. From 1946 to 1973, Mission hosted an event that saw its champion represent Mission, the province and Canada in Akron, Ohio at the All-American Soap Box Derby (AASBD).

Unfortunately, with the loss of a major sponsor and volunteer interest the event vanished from the local scene until 1999, when a new race was created that would give youth the opportunity to experience the thrill of the hill. The current event hosted by the Mission Soap Box Derby Association, has been a success since its re-introduction as youth and their families gather each year with homemade racers to compete for top honours.

Since Mission’s withdrawal from sending a champion to the AASBD World Championships, much has changed. No longer are families required to design and build their own creations, but rather a uniform car kit is now in use. There are three classes of cars now, stock, super stock and masters. Each features a specific car kit which removes the wallet from the equation, providing an equal opportunity everyone and a level playing field versus a family’s financial situation being the deciding factor in the success of a car and drivers winning the event.

Soap box derby is a unique sport, and the AASBD program offers youth in communities across the world an opportunity no other sport does. In any community anywhere a licensed AASBD local championship can be held and the winner or winners automatically qualify to compete in the World Championships. No other sport offers this; it’s like a youth winning a local hockey or soccer house league championship and going straight to the Stanley Cup Final or World Cup.

As the international regional director for the AASBD, I wish to encourage Mission and the organizers of the Mission Soap Box Derby, to explore the return of the community and its champions to Akron by creating a “new” Mission BC All American SBD Local Championship.

With the support of local and area business and the dedication of volunteers and supporters, this can be accomplished. Not all kids can play hockey or soccer, not all are suited for team sports or athletics, but all kids can compete in the sport of soap box derby.

Bernie Daynes

AASBD Intl Regional Director

Peterborough, Ont.