Last week saw many new adventures for me, including taking the train down to London to talk at the Red Bull Athletes Summit. I don’t know what will surprise people the most, me talking to Red Bull athletes or the fact that I got on a train! Milton Keynes to Euston was fairly painless but I was nervous as hell for my talk!
I’m a fairly accomplished speaker these days but I’ve never spoken in front of such an impressive group of people as the UK Red Bull Athletes before. I was there speaking on behalf of the Wings For Life charity. If you don’t know what they do or who they are, please check them out here – they are such a worthy cause. Funded by Red Bull, 100% of their proceeds go towards research to find a cure for spinal injuries. I love being involved with this charity, they invite me to some incredible places! The Red Bull Athletes were so very welcoming. The feedback after my talk was so humbling. Chatting to Maddie Hinch, Tahnée Seagrave and Rachel Atherton about being women in male dominated sports was fantastic. It doesn’t matter what level you compete at, we all have the same mindset when it comes to our gender and sport.
Saturday saw me attend another event brimming with female talent, the British Women Racing Drivers Club Awards Dinner. This one was a formal black tie event so I was delighted that I could dress up in an evening dress to talk to fellow BWRDC members about my journey into motorsport. I was worried that this would be a tough crowd to impress, the audience was full of female racing drivers and bloody successful ones at that. My gender and career choice was nothing new to these people! However, the reception I received at the end of my talk was incredible. As the room rose to their feet to give me a standing ovation, I struggled to choke back the tears. This is a group of women I deeply respect, a group of women who give me confidence that my gender is irrelevant to the sport I choose to compete in and here they were on their feet giving me acceptance into their world not as a female, not as a wheelchair user but as a fellow racing driver. I honestly couldn’t have asked for any more from these women.
This will be a tough week to follow I think!