Girls on Track UK Unites at TeamSport Manchester
One hundred girls from ten schools in and around Manchester enjoyed a rare and enviable opportunity last week (11 November 2021) to spend time honing their racing skills around TeamSport Trafford’s impressive indoor kart circuit. The schools, all of which work in tandem with the Manchester United Foundation, also enjoyed a close-up tour of a real Formula One car - all as part of an event organised by female motorsport initiative, Girls on Track UK.
As well as learning about the ins and outs of the Alpine F1 team’s race car, courtesy of three of the team’s female personnel, the students, aged between 11 and 12 years-old, also had their eyes opened to the wealth of future opportunities available to them within the world of professional motorsport and other STEM related industries.
The action packed day saw the girls undergo media tuition and interview skills which included presenting a piece to camera; a fitness workshop with the Batak reaction game; a Pirelli pit-stop challenge where the students learnt to change a wheel on a race car; Lego coding with Enovation Consulting Ltd and Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence, ‘mini medics’ session with Manchester United Foundation resident doctor and a demonstration from one of Girls on Track UK’s educational partners, F1 in Schools. All activities were devised to offer a fun yet comprehensive insight into what future careers could be available to them in the world of international motor racing.
Girls on Track UK (formerly known as Dare to be Different), an initiative started by Susie Wolff and now managed by Motorsport UK, focuses on inspiring, connecting and showcasing females in motorsport as well as through Science, Technology and Maths (STEM) subjects. With active, engaging activity days for schools, Girls on Track UK aims to e
xcite and encourage girls into believing that there is a rightful place for females within the motorsport industry.
Kevin Spencer, General Manager TeamSport Trafford said, “It’s been really good to host Girls on Track UK at TeamSport Trafford today. It was great to have lots of girls trying out karting for the first time – and there’s some very promising prospects out there on the circuit! But as well as the racing, it’s been so useful for all of the girls to find out how they can get involved in motorsport in so many ways - so let’s hope we’ll see many of them getting involved in the future.”
Claire Harrup, Female Education Development Co-ordinator, Manchester United Foundation added, “I think the opportunity to collaborate with Girls on Track UK has been fantastic in terms of our shared values and objectives. We are totally dedicated to inspiring and engaging with young girls and females - especially those with greater social and economic
needs - to get them involved in different industries especially those related to STEM, motorsport and of course, football - all environments that have traditionally felt very male dominated. The girls have just loved all the activities that have been set up for them to try today which they will talk about for a very long time to come. Hopefully this will plant the seed and who knows, maybe many of them will take something like this up in the future!”