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West Sussex County Times Article
There was huge cheering in our house when Jenson Button won the world championship on Sunday. My partner is a Formula 1 fan and we went to the British Grand Prix this year. It was incredibly exciting but the noise was deafening - my ears rang for days.
In extraordinary contrast, I attended a motorsport event at Goodwood on Sunday where the cars were silent. Remarkable young people were competing in a race with electric cars they had designed and built themselves.
This was the Formula 24 National Final and I was lucky enough to be invited to start the race with another great fan of motor racing, the Earl of March.
After a summer of qualifying heats at motor circuits around the UK, the top 75 teams - out of 184 teams that competed this year - descended on Goodwood for a four-hour endurance race designed to test their skills to the limit.
The race was organised by Greenpower, a company based in Littlehampton who run a national project for young people aged between 9 and 25.
Since the first race ten years ago, it has expanded to hold a Goblin Formula series for primary school children, Formula 24 for secondary schools and a new Formula 24+ for students aged 16 to 21.
I can't praise Greenpower highly enough for organising this event. It was tremendous to see young people from schools across the country taking part. Not only does it build their teamwork skills, but Greenpower hopes that it will encourage young people to get involved in engineering and move into a career in the industry.
I hope so too, because we desperately need more young people to go into technology and engineering. And we also need to promote ‘green' forms of power.
The young people taking part in Greenpower were intensely serious about the challenge, but they were also really enjoying themselves. This fantastic initiative shows that the green agenda needn't be dull or punitive - it can be rewarding, too.
23 October 2009
"I pledge to work hard for everyone in the constituency, to stand up for local people, and to be a strong voice at Westminster for your concerns"