8 December 2023: Mohammed Ben Sulayem, FIA president, today announced that for the first time in its history, Motorsport South Africa (MSA) had scooped the top President’s Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Award from a total of 22 member organisations worldwide, for its work at Daniel Pienaar Technical Highschool (DP) in Kariega in the Eastern Cape.
Anton Roux, President of Motorsport South was present at the FIA Annual General Assembly meeting in Baku, Azerbaijan, to accept this prestigious award.
The award honours the top FIA Member Organisation for its outstanding commitment to the implementation of diverse and inclusive practices and activities that foster equitable, sustainable, and measurable change. Nine finalists were selected from a field of 44 projects submitted by FIA member clubs around the world. MSA’s contribution to Daniel Pienaar technical Highschool Motorsport Initiative, was saluted for providing learners, irrespective of race or gender, with exposure to all facets of motorsport, including rallying, mechanics, and administration roles. Notably, the inclusion of girls and individuals from diverse backgrounds was cited as contributing to promoting much-needed diversity in motorsport.
Daniel Pienaar Technical Highschool (DP), is not only the oldest technical school in South Africa but also the only school in South Africa with motorsport as an official school sport. and one of only three in the world to offer motorsport as an extra-curricular activity. With customised cars and the sound of roaring engines, pupils at Daniel Pienaar Technical High School are living every young person’s dream.
Roux paid special tribute to the work conducted by Motorsport South Africa’s (MSA) Chairman of the Safety and Technical Panel, Sparky Bright, who was integrally involved when motorsport was first introduced to the school almost 20 years ago in 2004 by Bright and Jimmy Murray. MSA has been a firm supporter of the school all these years and Bright’s own son, Chassen Bright (now 33), started at the school in his Grade 8 year. He went on to become a three-time South African national and seven-time Eastern Cape Regional Karting champion and earned his South African Protea national motorsport colours.
Today Chassen works abroad in Germany as the aftersales specialist for Hyundai Motorsport. ‘And that,” says Sparky “is what a technical school like Daniel Pienaar gives you. It is never just about the racing – but more about the other world of opportunities that become available like marshalling, timekeeping, engineering, motor mechanic and other exciting careers.”
Roux concludes: “We are honoured accept this significant award and thank the FIA for the privilege. Our work at Daniel Pienaar highlights the need to foster a work environment that promotes the inclusion of diverse experiences, perspectives and backgrounds, and removes barriers to the advancement of under-represented groups. We salute all of the students and teachers at DP and encourage them to keep up the excellent work.”
Link to award https://vimeo.com/889453830/ff6c26b55d?share=copy
PREPARED ON BEHALF OF MOTORSPORT SOUTH AFRICA BY CATHY FINDLEY PR