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Celebrating Inclusion

This week is Scottish Women and Girls in Sport Week and the theme for this year is “Celebrating Inclusion”. Motorsport has been quite unique for a long time in that competitors can take part at the same level regardless of gender and even with physical limitations. This is one of the great strengths of motorsport but sometimes it can be seen as a macho sport, fast cars have always been stereotypically regarded as the domain of “boy racers”. We can show that this certainly is not the case with female support and participation in many different roles in Scottish motor racing. We hope that these stories can help and encourage others to get involved.

I recently caught up with Iona Johnstone Gibb. She wears many different hats being a marshal, safeguarding officer and hopes to compete soon too. 

GA: Iona, you have a family passion for motor racing which was passed onto you by your dad, can you tell us a little bit about that?

IJG: I grew up with my father being a competitor and clerk of course for our local rally for many years. It was just a normal day/ weekend for me to be around cars and marshalling. I would help set up stages with him and help at signing on etc. this had a lasting impression on me which is why now, as an adult and mum of 4, I take part in what I can in the motorsport world.

GA: Can you tell us about your safe guarding role and how that supports encouraging girls and women to get involved?

IJG: Whilst I’m still new to safeguarding role I hope that when I am at an event I’ll be able to firstly keep people safe with in my remit but secondly that women and girls can come and talk to me more easily, there are so many women in varying roles across motorsport it’s not just a man’s world.

GA: Marshals are the real heroes of motor racing and without them the sport we all love just wouldn’t happen. There are many different duties that marshals undertake, can you tell us what they are and how someone would go about getting involved?

IJG: Firstly, marshalling is the best! I tend to marshal more on rally stages as that’s what I grew up with. There are so many roles a marshal can have from spectator safety and control to time keeping. All are equally as rewarding. Anyone that has an interest in motorsport can find out more on the SAMSC and Motorsport UK websites or if they are at an event they can come and talk with us. You cannot miss us in our orange vests!

GA: What is the best thing about being involved in motor racing in Scotland?

IJG: I think the best thing is that it is an inclusive sport where everyone from anywhere can take part. It is not all about competing there are so many roles behind the scenes too. I like the fact there is diversity and a huge support network with friendly faces always here to help you on your motorsport journey.

GA: It has been great hearing your story and we thank you for the work you do in making motorsport happen in our wee country.

IJG: Thank you too. I hope that women in motorsport week raises the profile for women hoping to get involved. My 4 children are all keen to get racing and my 2 daughters are especially interested in marshalling and love to help where they can. I am so pleased to be part of motorsport in Scotland.

Iona’s story shows that there are plenty of roles to enjoy as a woman in Scottish motorsport. If you are interested please get in touch.

About the author

Glenn Alcock

Glenn Alcock