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Women in Motorsport gather at Silverstone to celebrate International Women's Day


March 8th 2010: Television presenter Louise Goodman joined some of the leading names in women’s motor sport and their cars at Silverstone on Monday to celebrate their participation in motor sport for International Women’s Day.
Motor sport is one of the few sporting activities in which men and women compete alongside each other on an equal footing, yet as they make up only 8% of registered licence holders, women are hugely under-represented among motor sport drivers.
There are, nonetheless, an estimated 50,000 women actively involved in British motor sport, organising events, running clubs and associations, timekeeping, marshalling and fulfilling a host of other support roles without which the sport itself could not continue.
To celebrate their importance to motor sport, more than 50 female competitors, marshals, officials and volunteers gathered at Silverstone, home of British motor sport and the 2010 Santander Formula 1 British Grand Prix, to support the Motor Sports Association’s Women in Motorsport Group.
Among the attendees was Go Motorsport ambassador and ITV’s British Touring Car Championship presenter Louise Goodman. Also present was reigning Ginetta Junior Champion and 2009 BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year nominee Sarah Moore, the first female driver ever to win a major British motor racing championship.
Goodman said: “It was a fabulous experience to come together with all these other women involved in the sport to show that motor sport is not just for the men. I really hope that this inspires more girls to consider the sport; one of them might just turn out to be the new Jenson Button!”
Sue Sanders, Chairman of the MSA Women in Motorsport Group, said: “This has been a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate the diverse range of roles that women undertake within the sport at all levels. We believe that motor sport is truly fair and equal but there is plenty of room for more women. We hope that this gathering will celebrate those already involved and stimulate others that may be interested in getting started.”
MSA Chief Executive Colin Hilton said: “Motor sport still tends to be seen as a male-dominated activity, so we need to create female role models to inspire the next generation. We are seeing a substantial increase in female participation among the junior ranks, especially with the Let’s Go Karting initiative that gives young people a first experience of karting for just £5. Similarly, the Go Motorsport message that we are taking to schools across the county is aimed equally at girls and boys.”
Editor’s notes:
International Women’s Day is a day of global celebration for the achievements of women, and has been recognised as such since the early 20th Century. Thousands of events are held across the globe annually to mark the occasion, which is a national holiday in many countries.
The Motor Sports Association (MSA) is the national governing body for four-wheel motor sport in the UK, responsible for the regulation and administration of the sport. The MSA is a member of the world governing body, the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) and holds a seat on the World Motor Sport Council. The MSA represents 33,000 licence holders, 15,000 volunteer marshals and officials, more than 750 member clubs and issues permits for 5,000 motor sport events every year.
In recent years the MSA has expanded its remit to cover the development of the sport and currently invests in excess of £1m a year in the three elements of its Whole Sport Plan. ‘Grow’ targets an increase in participation levels, ‘Sustain’ invests in the infrastructure of the sport, its clubs and its people, and ‘Excel’ focuses on training future world champions and educating their peers.
Go Motorsport is a national marketing campaign to promote UK motor sport, expand its awareness and encourage more people to get involved as spectators, volunteers or drivers.
Launched in 2008 at the McLaren Technology Centre, Go Motorsport has been designed to communicate the accessibility of motor sport at all levels and the central website is an important information portal to provide clear direction for anyone looking to get started. The website highlights the many different types of motor sport available and demonstrates that there are some extremely cost-effective options that do not require a lot of money.
The Go Motorsport campaign is bolstered by ten Regional Development Officers (RDOs) who deliver the Go Motorsport message to schools and colleges across the country and also working with clubs, associations and venues to promote motor sport in their areas.
Go Motorsport has enjoyed an overwhelmingly positive response, receiving direct support from some of the biggest names in the sport who have agreed to act as Ambassadors, including Jenson Button, David Coulthard, Allan McNish, Colin Turkington, David Brabham, Murray Walker and Sir Frank Williams.
Release MSA10-022: 8 March 2010
For media information only. No regulatory value.