The race is on to attract girls to the male-dominated world of motor sport by joining a karting club in Ellesmere Port.
Three karts, race suits and helmets have been bought for use by disadvantaged girls at Hooton Circuit Club following a grant of £10,000 from Cheshire Community Foundation.
The equipment will allow up to 10 novice racers aged between 10 and 16 to show their driving skills in karting events at the popular track.
The initiative is part of a Girls in Motorsport (GIM) project run by The Blair Project, a social enterprise which aims to introduce girls to a sport which traditionally has been a man’s world.
Motorsport is one of a handful of sports where male and female competitors compete together though only five per cent of licence holders are women. The aim is to increase the participation of young women and girls and close this gender gap.
Marilyn Comrie OBE, from The Blair Project, said: “We want to encourage young girls from Ellesmere Port to take up karting and are extremely grateful to the Foundation for their help assisting us.
“Girls are massively under-represented in motor sport and yet there’s a big incentive for them to get involved because they learn about things like engineering without even realising.”
The girls will receive expert instruction from up and coming racing driver Matty Street (19), from Oldham, a product of The Blair Project which encourages both sexes take up what can be an expensive sport.
Cheshire Community Foundation has supported more than 520 projects since it was set up in early 2012, awarding a total of £1.8m to not-for-profit organisations such as charities, community groups and social enterprises.
Chief Executive Helen O’Donnell said: “We help inspire local philanthropy and invest money in grass roots organisations. We help people who want to give back to the places in which they live, connecting them to the local community. Our role is help them invest in that community in an intelligent and impactful way.”
Grants are awarded quarterly with applications up to £1,000 assessed monthly. To find out more call Cheshire Community Foundation on 01606 330607 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.