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June 21, 2023 3 min read

Teenage kart racing rising star Anesu Mapiro is excited to have been selected to take part in the three-day Motorsport Girls Camp scheduled for South Africa early next month.

The event, which has the official support of the prominent organisation ROK Cup South Africa is set to run from July 4 to 6 and is aimed at inspiring and empowering young girls to pursue their passion for motorsport.

It's a big achievement for Mapiro who has only been involved in the sport for barely a year and a half, but has already been dominating on the local scene.

The Zacademy student, who is also part of the Kart Sport Club based at the National Sports Stadium, expressed excitement at the development.

"It was a long shot to start with as there were a limited number of places available on the programme, so I was very excited to make it through. It’s an amazing opportunity for me and I’m grateful for the help and support I’ve received. I also really hope this will inspire other young women to chase their dreams, whatever they may be," she said.

 Mapiro reflected on how her journey in karting began back in December 2021.

"I wanted to try something new. As Steve Jobs famously said, ‘Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life’. I decided it was no longer time to conform with the norm. It was time to get out of the box — to explore new things, new challenges, even if they aren’t what 600 other girls at school are doing, or what others value as important," the 15-year-old driver explained.

"It turns out that I jumped out of that box, straight on to a racing track. It started with a fun day out at Pole Position Karts. Getting behind that wheel gave me a sense of euphoria. I was immediately hooked. But it was so much more than that. I felt an immediate sense of belonging.

"There came a point when I had been driving the rental karts for a while, that I started beating some of the boys. I would hear their surprise when they looked at the time sheets and would watch their competitive need to beat a girl take over.

"When I moved into racing, I realised it wouldn’t have been possible without Kevin and Zac Dufty and Sean Maphosa from Pole Position Karts, who without, I never would have had the courage to race against the boys, and felt so valued and equal as a female driver," she said.

Pole Position Karts are the official ROK Cup Zimbabwe promoters and it is their connection with the ROK Cup  and the SA Women in Motorsport programme organiser/promoter Fabienne Lanz that gave Mapiro the opportunity to be selected for the programme.

Pole Position Karts has long been an advocate for promoting young women in motorsport. In 2021 they organised the FIA Girls on Track event in Zimbabwe, being one of the first countries in Africa to do so.

“This partnership sets the tone for concerted effort in the motorsports industry to be intentional about supporting and empowering women. Fabienne Lanz's Motorsports Girls Camp will serve as a platform for aspiring female racers to gain valuable skills, knowledge, and experience in a traditionally male-dominated field," ROK Cup Africa operations manager, John Duvill said.

Mapiro is not sure how far she will go with the sport but she feels it has changed her life for good.

“I have no idea where my karting journey will take me, but I do know with absolute certainty that in just one year of racing, as a female, I have been taught life lessons that will influence my life decisions forever,” she said.

This is a copy of an article, you can view the original here

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