Edukarting Bahamas hosting 6th summer camp at BTVI

By RENALDO DORSETT

Tribune Sports Reporter

rdorsett@tribunemedia.net

EDUKARTING Bahamas is hosting the sixth edition of its summer camp programme, aimed at bringing greater awareness to motorsports through "stealth education."

The Edukarting Summer Kart Club will host two independent sessions at the BTVI campus.

The first session began on Tuesday and concludes August 10 while the second session takes place August 13-16.

The camp is limited to 30 students per week, between 10-16 years of age and in grades 10-12, at a cost of $25 per week.

The Edukarting initiative was introduced as a summer camp into public schools in 2013 and four of the schools with automotive programmes continued as an after-school Kart Club.

As it continues the task of developing motorsport in the Bahamas at the grassroots level, the Edukarting Summer Kart Club promises that every student will be able to drive a kart at the conclusion of the programme.

Edukarting features one-week programmes taught by industry professionals to encourage a love of motorsport, team building and an introduction to associated disciplines with future marketable skills.

Bahamas EduKarting founder and coordinator David McLaughlin previously stated that beyond the basics of mechanics, participants aquire skills that make them valuable to the employee workforce.

"There is art, design, public relations and marketing. Each team has to create a business plan, present and 'sell' it to a sponsor who provides virtual funding for uniforms, helmets, tires and parts," he said. "We have seen high school students come out of school and immediately into a job because of the skills they learned in EduKarting. Two of them are working for a large auto dealer now in the service division and another has gone on to become a pilot."

He said the programme aims to bring greater exposure for young Bahamians to a sport which presents new opportunities through "stealth education."

Nearly every famous Formula One or NASCAR racer got his or her start in karting," said Mr McLaughlin, who also serves as the Bahamas and Caribbean Motor Sport development director of FIA, the motorsports association under the auspices of the International Olympic Committee.

"Who knows? The Bahamas, which has produced great athletes in track and field, basketball, tennis and swimming, may one day produce a great race car driver.

"Look at Lewis Hamilton of Grenada and the UK who got his first go kart at the age of six and showed so much promise by the time he was a teen that his father gave up his career and sometimes worked as many as three jobs to support his son's ambition in motorsport.

"Today, he is the most famous Formula One driver alive."