NAIROBI, Kenya, May 31 – Women In Motorsport (WIM) – Kenya has announced elaborate plans geared towards empowering more females savor equal opportunities to compete at the highest level of the sport.
The unprecedented move is part of a five-year strategic envisaged to grow young budding talent at the grassroots level.
WIM-Kenya Vice-Chairperson Tuta Mionki while making the announcement noted that the noble initiative is a deliberate move aimed at creating an enabling environment for women racers, more so the underprivileged ones in various parts of the country.
“WIM-Kenya had identified a home in Nairobi and another in Narok for mentoring and we were in the process of getting to involve them in karting before the COVID 19 issues cropped up,” Tuta said.
The essence, she added, is to help young girls realize their potential by venturing into various disciplines of motorsports hitherto perceived a “male-dominated world”.
Tuta also noted that their campaign seeks to demystify the notion that ‘motorsport is only a preserve of the privileged”.
“Motorsport has been perceived to be only for a certain group, which is not the case. You can actually participate in the sport in many facets and still be part and parcel of the adrenaline, joy, and growth of the sport. We also want to demystify the notions that motorsport is only for men,” Tuta who deputizes Helen Shiri “Hedgal” at WIM-Kenya went on.
She believes that the project will not only unlock women’s fervor in the sport but definitely mentor the young-budding girl-child from sprawling slum areas across the country.
“The girls will be handed the rare opportunity to taste the intensity and adrenaline which characterizes the sport through go-karting.
Tuta went on: “It’s been a bit challenging for women in motorsport in the country. We have seen the numbers drastically going down, and generally in the sport, due to funding. Currently, we have about six all-women crew without funding, with their rally cars just sitting in their backyards.”
“One of the things we did was to first understand why women aren’t getting sponsorship to rally and see how best to repackage our game. We looked into ways and means through which to have women grow into karting drivers. We also explored the possibilities of women running training rallies which is the only way we can show aspiring women that it’s not only a sport for men,” she further pointed out.
Go-karting has produced some of the country’s best drivers including current KNRC and Safari Champion Baldev Chager and Tejas Hirani who went on to participate in the FIA RX Lites Championship.
Among Kenyan all-women teams currently on sabbatical due to lack of funding include the Rally Chicks, Warembo Bila Mekap, Divas On Wheels of Carol Gatimu, and Kui Mungai, Amira Hedgals of Helen Shiri and Haraka Mamas of Joan Nesbitt and Tamara Jones.