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Daring to be different with Teen Kart Queen, Sophie Gill

Photo: D2BD

Sophie Gill our teen kart queen is back! This week’s column is all about Dare To Be Different, a fantastic organisation which encourages women and girls into motorsport.

Imagine a group created by racing driver Susie Wolff, whose mission is to inspire and help get girls into motorsport. With community events, for members to interact, school days to showcase different aspects of motorsport to young girls and exclusive opportunities to get jobs in motorsport. Sounds brilliant, doesn’t it? Well, it’s called Dare To Be Different (D2BD) and I’m going to tell you all about it and how you can get involved.

Age 8, I started karting. It was mainly male dominated, so I was thrilled when I joined D2BD, age 10, to meet other like-minded girls who enjoyed racing. I’ve made many close friends and have met fellow motorsport enthusiasts at community events. These events are held twice a year and offer community members a chance to connect with each other. They are held at brilliant locations around the country, e.g. Silverstone race track and the British Motor Museum, so there’s plenty to do even when the networking event is over! Another massive part of Dare To Be Different is the incredible opportunities they offer to members. From visiting the Mercedes Factory to getting a taster day at Autosport magazine’s offices, there’s always something unique and inspiring to get involved in!

It’s not all just for community members though, D2BD frequently invite groups of local school girls (around 100) to visit a race track, or racing themed location for a special motorsport-based event where D2BD ambassadors and racing role models talk to the girls about how to get into motorsport. As well as hearing talks from the ambassadors, attendees get to have a go at karting, try out their skills changing an F1 car’s tyre, see how their fitness levels compared to those of racing drivers, practice their interviewing technique with real Sky Sports presenters and even work with STEM mentors to build a hoverboard! I’m proud to say I was chosen as a racing role model and got to talk to the girls about karting!

D2BD is backed by the FIA, and many other F1 sponsors and is often featured in various motorsport magazines. It has a Facebook group where community members can connect and network in a safe place. If you are interested in joining D2BD, make sure to check out their website. It really is the perfect place for women of any age who are interested in motorsport!

I hope you enjoyed this article, and if you want to know more about me, be sure to check out my Facebook page for updates on my crazy motorsport life! And if you missed my last column, you can read it here!

~ Sophie

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