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KUALA LUMPUR, April 22 -- It looks like the role of women in motorsports in the country is quickly changing from being just ‘eye-candy grid girls’ to ‘eye-catching girls with grit’ as many have begun to show their true colours on the track as well as behind the scene.
This is thanks to the efforts of several parties and agencies, including the Youth and Sports Ministry and Motorsports Association of Malaysia (MAM), who have been vigorously trying to promote the sport to women through various programmes and clinics.
The ministry’s Sports Development Department deputy director-general, Mohd Azhari Mohammad said some of its programmes managed to attract the attention of women to venture into the sport, with the latest set to be the Women's Sports Day in June.
He was also impressed with the skills shown by women riders during the Malaysian Cub Prix Championships this season, which saw Tuneboss-Pink Racing Team making history as a motor-cycling outfit fully handled and owned by a 25-year-old woman, Nur Atikah Azwar.
“I see that a big change has happened… they (women) can now do everything, including ride bikes (in competitions).
“In motorsports, skills and engines are important, not your sex… we really encourage and hope that this effort can be maintained,” he said in the Youth Talent Myfit@Motorsports webinar programme today.
Meanwhile, MAM secretary-general Muizz Azli said many local and international groups had organised grassroots programmes to identify talented riders with the potential to reach greater heights.
In that aspect, he said MAM had nominated 11-year-old go-kart racer Katrina Ee Wing Thung to participate in the FIA’s (world governing body for motorsports) ‘Girls On Track Rising Stars’ programme, where she will have the chance to learn at the Ferrari Academy, if successful.
He also welcomed the setting up of the Juwita Motorsports Club for women only, adding that he viewed this development as something positive and one that would benefit the country’s motor racing fraternity.