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​Racing team visits Bathurst Correctional Centre

Issued: Monday, 13 October 2014

The Jesus Racing Team took a detour off Mount Panorama and cruised into Bathurst Correctional Centre in a noisy V8 ute today. The team, led by racing driver Andrew 'Fishtail' Fisher, put the brakes on the Bathurst 1000 to visit inmates at the prison. Prison Chaplains Pastor Keith Ham and Father Greg Walsh invited the team back following the success of a previous visit.

More than 40 inmates from various denominations asked to participate in Fishtail's Life Choices program. It aims to teach young people and offenders about making positive decisions and thinking about the consequences of their actions. Fishtail described his experiences on the race track as well as his Christian beliefs.

"Fishtail shared an important message with the inmates - that they can't change the past but they can control the future," Pastor Keith said. "Fishtail is a masculine figure who really breaks down Christian stereotypes. He helps the inmates see a different representation of the Christian faith. They kept describing him as 'a real bloke'."

General Manager Bill Fittler said the inmates were completely engaged in the presentation. "They asked a lot of questions but also quietly sat and listened closely to his story," Mr Fittler said. "At one point, when Fishtail spoke about his daughter who was born with a heart condition and wasn't expected to live, you could hear a pin drop."

That silence did not last long especially after Fishtail raised the bonnet of the very colourful V8 Jesus ute and revved the engine. The sound bounced off the walls throughout the complex.

 "The thunderous sounds from the Bathurst 1000 have been reverberating throughout the centre," Mr Fittler said. "This was one way of bringing the massive V8 supercar series to the prison while teaching the inmates about making positive life decisions. His life change messages complement the treatment programs we offer."

Chaplains Pastor Keith and Father Greg are already planning to invite the Jesus Racing Team back to the centre next year.