HSF gave a £4,359.80 fuel injection to London Play Go Kart event

HSF were pleased to support the London Play’s annual Go Kart Build and Race on Friday 4 August for the third consecutive year. Leonora Martell-Surtees attended for the first time, standing in the shoes of her late father, John Surtees CBE. She was delighted to see the budding engineers and designers at work, some of whom had never handled a drill or hammered in a nail prior to the event.

She said: “My father always enjoyed this event. He would roll up his sleeves to provide hands on help and advice to the children during the build process. Whilst its fun, it’s educational too, and helps kids to hone new skills in construction, mechanics, and team work, problem solving, time management and physics. Inspiring kids was something he was greatly passionate about”.

The HSF funding enabled the charity to run the annual event once again which saw children drawn together from some of London’s poorest communities to build go karts from scratch and then race them. Around 100 children and young people descended on the field at 11am to find piles of wood, wheels, tools and fixings. There were some doubters — but as the minutes and hours ticked by, they found themselves hammering, sawing, drilling and painting; some unearthing hitherto latent talents in aerodynamic design, precision engineering and automotive aesthetics. And when the whistle blew to mark the end of four hours’ furious construction, all 12 karts were deemed fit to race.

A few practice runs to prefect the driving, steering and pushing techniques led straight into three heats, each with four karts — featuring some fierce competition, tactical manoeuvres, and total wipe outs — but huge grins all round.

The Triangle Tornadoes were handed the coveted ‘H’ trophy and celebrated by spraying sparkling grape juice from the winners’ podium. They will also be treated to a trip to Buckmore Park Kart Circuit to use the kart simulator and have a go at racing with some real horsepower.

London Play’s deputy director Fiona Sutherland said:“Thanks to the Henry Surtees Foundation for again supporting this fantastic event. It is amazing to see the transformation that takes place in the children over the course of a few short hours. They arrive to see a pile of wood and bits and some of them can’t imagine how it could be anything different. But by the end of the day, they have created a moving, working machine. They leave inspired, with improved confidence, self-belief and hope. They take away new skills in teamwork, negotiation, planning, design, and engineering, handling tools safely and assessing risk. They learn so much. But they have had so much fun that they don’t even realise it!”.

For further information, visit: www.londonplay.org.uk

Richard Martell