On Wednesday 21 June, East Ayrshire Car Club is set host 40 girls from two local high schools - Auchinleck and Cumnock Academy - at their Kames sprint track to introduce them to the world of motorsport.
The event, which is running in conjunction with East Ayrshire Council and the Scottish Motor Sports project, will feature three activity stations for the girls to experience. The stations are intended to represent various different aspects of motorsport from on track action to volunteering roles within the sport. On the day, the girls will have the chance to experience passenger laps around the technical Kames track with an experienced motorsport competitor at the wheel. They will also receive an introduction to motorsport marshalling through a Timekeeping Challenge in addition to testing their engineering skills by taking part in the Rocket Car Challenge.
This event is the first of its kind in East Ayrshire and Russell Fair, EACC Chairman, explains that it is a great opportunity for the club to showcase the sport and the Kames venue to a new group:
“East Ayrshire Car Club is delighted to be working with East Ayrshire Council to offer this taster session to pupils in local schools. We’ll show the girls many aspects of motorsport in which they don’t need a Formula 1 grand prix car to get involved. We’ll also show them how they can start driving at the complex from the age of 12!”
Motorsport is very much perceived as being a male dominated sport yet is one of the few sports in the world where men and women can compete against each other on a level playing field. This event is intended to prove that motorsport can be a legitimate sporting choice for girls, whether as a driver, co-driver or marshal. Gillian Sefton, National Development Officer for Scottish Motor Sports explained that she hopes it will help to dispel myths that motorsport is only a sport for the boys:
“As a women working in motorsport, I know there is no good reason for girls not to be more involved in the sport and giving the boys a run for their money! Indeed, girls in Scotland even have a great role model in the shape of fellow Scot, Susie Wolff, who recently retired from her role as test driver for the Williams Formula One team and has also launched an initiative with the Motor Sports Association – Dare 2 Be Different – to encourage girls to get involved in motorsport.”
As follow up to the event, the girls will be invited back to the venue to get a more comprehensive sporting experience where they will have the opportunity to join the club and get some training in a car. If competing is not for them, then the girls will also have the opportunity to become trained as a marshal, which is not only a fun and rewarding way to get involved in the sport, it also develops skills that will help to enhance their employability.
Angie Bennett and Adam Strain from Vibrant Communities at East Ayrshire Council have been working with EACC over the last 9 months with track and club development and are delighted to be supporting this event and the opportunities available to the females participating:
“This is a really exciting event and fantastic opportunity for our local young females to experience a sport and industry that is traditionally male orientated. The activities that are on offer on the day will expose the girls to various aspects of motor sport and there is no doubt that EACC will put on an event that will encourage them to not only enjoy their day but come back and experience it all over again in the future. EACC deserve a huge amount of credit for their forward thinking in trying to encourage more females to participate in motor sport and we are only too happy to support them”.