Life in the fast lane with Girls on Track UK and Williams Racing

Thursday 21 October 2021

  • 100 girls aged 8-11 get up close and personal with a Williams Racing F1 car
  • Pitstop Challenge, Batak reaction game, Lego coding, and remote-control cars on the list of activities

One hundred girls from Monkton Combe and surrounding local primary schools – Farleigh, Hanford, Combe Down, Pinewood, and St. Martins Garden – enjoyed a rare opportunity to spend time getting up close to a Williams Racing Formula 1 car last week (15 October 2021) as part of an event organised by female motorsport initiative, Girls on Track UK.

The girls, all aged between 8 and 11 years old, completed seven activities throughout the day designed to showcase the wealth of future opportunities available to them within the world of professional motorsport and other STEM-related industries.

Activities included media training with Motorsport TV presenter Diana Binks; a Batak reaction game and fitness workshop; a Pirelli pit-stop challenge; Lego coding; the basics of resuscitation with a Girls on Track UK medic, and an engineering exercise using remote-controlled model cars – activities all devised to inspire the girls and offer a fun yet comprehensive insight into what future careers could be available to them in the world of international motorsport.

As well as completing the above activities, the girls learned about the inner workings of a Formula 1 car, as they met Williams Racing Composite Design Engineer, and Parts Usage Manager, Kat Newbery and Chloe Ward.

Girls on Track UK (formerly known as Dare To Be Different),  was started by Susie Wolff to inspire, connect, and showcase women in motorsport as well as through Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths (STEM) subjects. Now managed by the UK governing body, Motorsport UK, the initiative organises engaging activity days for schools to excite and encourage girls into believing that there is a rightful place for females within the motorsport industry.

Monkton Combe School Vice Principal James Goodman said, “At Monkton we want to inspire pupils and encourage them to think differently, and we hope that day has inspired the girls to believe that they can do anything they put their mind to. We also hope that some may go on to pursue a career within a STEM industry.

“The Girls on Track team did an amazing job of creating exciting activities and there was a real buzz amongst the girls all day, so we thank them for putting together such a great event and allowing us to host it.”

Girls on Track UK Programme Manager, Jenny Tcherniak, said, “It was a delight to be spend the day at Monkton Combe today with the girls from here and the surrounding schools. They seemed to love all the activities and of course it was wonderful to have the Williams F1 race car here which added a whole new level of excitement to proceedings!

“With motorsport traditionally regarded as a male-dominated sport, a lot of young girls simply aren’t aware of the breadth of future careers available to them within the industry – from driving to commentating and engineering and everything else in-between! Today was a great opportunity to open their eyes to the possibilities that exist and change this age-old perception.”