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Walker McInerney and his mother, Alyssa, pose for a photo following a qualifying race for the Soap Box Derby on June 3, 2023. Image: Submitted/Alyssa McInerney

N.B. student heading to Soap Box Derby world championship

By Brad Perry Jun 22, 2023 | 5:58 AM

A New Brunswick student will put his driving skills to the test on the international stage this summer.

Walker McInerney will represent his school at the Soap Box Derby world championship in Ohio.

McInerney is a Grade 5 student at Westfield Elementary School in Grand Bay-Westfield.

His school won first place at a qualifying event held in Saint John earlier in June.

“It was pretty exciting. It was pretty nerve-wracking too. I wasn’t expecting to win,” Walker said in an interview.

The 11-year-old said his love of driving comes from his grandfather, who gifted him a metal ride-on car when he was still in diapers.

He later upgraded to a snowmobile at the age of three, a small four-wheeler at the age of five, and a dirtbike when he was eight years old.

“I thought it’d be a great experience and I wanted to try it out,” Walker said of applying to be the school’s driver in the soap box derby.

The team of students from Westfield Elementary School who won the Soap Box Derby qualifying event in Saint John on June 3, 2023. Image: Submitted/Alyssa McInerney
Walker McInerney crosses the finish line during the Soap Box Derby qualifying event in Saint John on June 3, 2023. Image: Submitted/Alyssa McInerney

Now, the family has its sights set on Akron, Ohio, for the international event from July 16 to 22.

Walker will be competing alongside about 150 other children at the week-long event.

The family is holding a number of fundraising events to help cover some of their costs.

“We have to pay to freight ship the car to Ohio, as well as lodging and driving,” said Alyssa.

In total, she estimates the total price tag will be in the range of around $5,000.

The home and school association at Westfield Elementary recently held a popcorn fundraiser.

In addition, the family is selling tickets in person and via e-transfer on a YETI prize package valued at $900.

And a fundraising concert is taking place at Brundage Point River Centre in Grand Bay-Westfield at 7 p.m. on Monday, June 26.

“Everybody has really come together in a short amount of time. I’m super grateful,” said Alyssa.

The Westfield School Derby car (driven by Walker McInerney) brought home the first place trophy today! 🏆…

Posted by The Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy, Grand Bay-Westfield on Thursday, June 15, 2023


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