Girls in Motorsports set to make sporting history by winning Peoples Millions TV Vote
Sporting history will be made if a ground-breaking Girls in Motorsport project wins the public vote in ITV’s The Peoples Millions TV competition. Voting will take place on the Monday after the exciting climax of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and Formula E Prix in Putrajaya in Malaysia on 23 and 22nd Nov respectively.
Motorsport is one of a handful of sports where male and female competitors compete together. But the statistics are far from equal. Only 5% of racing licence holders are female. Girls in Motorsports aims to close this gender gap.
By winning the public vote, Girls in Motorsports will become the largest UK driver development programme, devoted entirely to helping female drivers pursue successful careers in the traditionally male dominated world of motor racing, as well as science and engineering.
Girls in Motorsports will compete for the public vote and £50,000 of lottery cash against Hindley Swimming Squad, with the public voting by phone to decide who wins the prize on Monday 24th November. Videos of both projects will be shown during ITV Granada News at 6 o’clock.
The £50,000 lottery cash award will be used to provide fully funded kart racing for 10 x girl racers aged 10 -16 years old, purchase 5 x new karts, along with driver coaching, media training and mentoring.
To increase participation in grassroots motorsports, the project will also provide volunteering opportunities for up to 50 x young mechanics and engineers from local motorsports & automotive colleges to gain valuable race team experience.
Girls in Motorsports is a partnership project between Student Motorsport and The Blair Project, an academy for young racing drivers founded by 19 year old social entrepreneur Nile Henry from Atherton, Greater Manchester. Other supporters include The College of West Anglia, Tameside and Bolton Colleges, Henman Communications and The British Womens Racing Driver’s Club, which boasts F1’s Susie Wolff as one of its Goldstar mentors.
Two of the Blair Project’s young girl racers and a group of volunteer student mechanics will be filming a TV appeal with ITV Granada on Friday 14 November at the Hooton Park Racing circuit in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, which runs a local karting championship and will be home to the Girls in Motorsports project.
They are 10 year old speed queen Geena Watkinson from Worksop in Nottinghamshire, who’s a pupil at Prospect Hill Junior School. She finished 2nd overall in the Honda Cadet Championship at Fulbeck Sprint Series, and is currently 4th in the Cadet 200 Extreme Series at PFI. She’ll be joined by 9 year old novice karter Aaliyah Ali, from Rochdale, Lancashire, who’s a pupil at The Lower Place Primary School. Both girls want to follow in the footsteps of F1’s Susie Wolff, and Formula E’s Katherine Legge and Michela Cerruti.
Nile Henry, the 19 year old CEO of The Blair Project said “Girls in Motorsports will provide opportunities for many more young people to participate in motorsports and overcome the significant barriers to access and participation by girls, who find it much harder than boys to get the sponsorship they need to progress to the top of the sport.
By voting for us, people will be helping to make history, and giving girl racers the sporting chance they deserve”.
JP Latham, the Founder of Student Motorsport added “We are thrilled to be working alongside our partners on The Girls in Motorsport project. This kind of project is unique and vital to challenging the way that girls participate in motorsport. We’re keen to get motoring on this and will with our experience in young peoples’ motorsport projects, support the delivery of this all the way.”
To support Girls in Motorsports visit http://www.peoplesmillions.org.uk/2014-finalists/granada/girls-in-motorsports