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Full Speed Ahead For Edukarting Programme

REGISTRATION opens this week for the 5th annual EduKarting Summer Camp, two one-week sessions beginning August 8 that allow young Bahamians to experience the speed and adrenaline-pumping excitement associated with the traditional sport that mixes thrills with important life lessons.

"Thanks to the continuing support from the FIA, our sponsors and the Ministry of Education which allows us to use the grounds of Doris Johnson High, we are able to keep our fees at $25 per camper per week, including lunch," said Bahamas EduKarting founder and coordinator David McLaughlin. "We wanted to keep fees reasonable so every young person who wants to participate, regardless of financial status, can take part in the camp designed to teach the values of self-discipline and teamwork. And the best part is students are learning useful skills while having a great time zipping around the course in a kart they have taken apart and rebuilt."

Most importantly, said Mr McLaughlin, beyond the basics of mechanics, campers learn what it takes to make a team of people who never knew each other before, perform.

"There is art, design, public relations and marketing," he says. "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.

"Nearly every famous Formula One or NASCAR racer got his or her start in karting," said Mr McLaughlin, Bahamas and Caribbean Motor Sport Development Director of FIA, the motor sports association under the auspices of the International Olympics 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 motor sport. Today, he is the most famous Formula One driver alive."

Each EduKarting summer camp is open to a maximum of 30 participants ages 11-17. Sessions run August 8 - 11 and August 14-18 from 9.30 am to 3.30 pm at Doris Johnson High on Prince Charles Drive.

"We have seen high school students come out of school and immediately into a job because of the skills they learned in EduKarting," said Mr McLaughlin. "Two of them are working for a large auto dealer now in the service division and another has gone on to become a pilot."

To register, call 432-1845, 815-8907, email edukartingbahamas@gmail.com or go to the EduKarting Facebook page.

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