Hope in Haringey and Sister System’s collaboration to develop the next generation of women leadership closed on a high with three upcoming graduates heading to Silverstone to meet Aliyyah and Yasmeen Koloc of Baggyra Racing.

By Omar Alleyne-Lawler, Communications Manager

Three students studying an NVQ Level 2 qualification in Leadership under a Hope in Haringey and Sister System collaboration came face to face with two inspiring young racers at the historic Silverstone circuit last week.

Welcomed to the circuit like VIP’s by Mercedes-Benz Chelmsford, the girls were invited to Baggyra’s hospitality suite where they were given a warm welcome and introduction by CEO, Martin Koloc.

Hope in Haringey’s Chloe Hedman with Eddie Hagen (Left) and Baggyra Racing CEO, Martin Koloc (Right).

The two-time European Truck Racing Champion was happy to host the group, giving them unrestricted access to the team’s garage and pit wall before introducing them to star drivers, Aliyyah and Yasmeen Koloc.

Aliyyah, who holds the record as the youngest truck racing winner in history as well as the world speed truck record, welcomed the group alongside her Endurance TC-2.0 champion sister, Yasmeen. Spending the day with the young leaders, the racers gave the girls an insight into how a race weekend is put together and run. Spending almost eight hours with the girls, the duo detailed how they transformed their family-inspired passions into a career.

It was a session which really allowed the learners and the racers to bond, with questions deepening as the day went on.

Whilst in the hot seat, Aliyyah and Yasmeen faced questions about how they turned career-ending Tennis injuries into motorsport success. Later, the pair spoke about how they face and overcome daily adversity. Whilst both face gendered and racial challenges as young, women of colour in motorsport’s male-dominated landscape – Aliyyah’s challenges come with the added difficulty of Asperger’s, a form of autism spectrum disorder.

Reflecting on the event, Hope in Haringey’s Chloe Hedman said “it was a really insightful day to bring girls from Haringey schools to Silverstone. It was an experience they never usually would have had and I feel quite inspired as well. Aliyyah and Yasmeen have such resilience. They’re a similar age to the girls we’ve brought today and I am glad to have brought the girls along to learn from them.”

The Women in Leadership students alongside Aliyyah and Yasmeen Koloc, Chloe Hedman of Hope in Haringey and the Baggyra Racing Mercedes-Benz GT4

The Silverstone visit marks an end to this group’s Leadership module. Working in partnership with Sister System’s Facilitator, Cassandra Campbell and Mentor, Chantele; Hope in Haringey’s support for young women in leadership will continue. This will take shape with HiH Youth Officer, Chloe Hedman continuing to mentor these girls as they transition into an advisory board role for AfroUrbanFutures UK. The project, which will bring young African diasporans together with young women from Uganda, Sierra Leone and Nigeria will work on creating solutions in the areas of health, education and environmental sustainability.

Hope in Haringey would like to thank Mercedes-Benz Chelmsford, Baggyra Racing, Sister System, Silverstone and Eddie Hagan for their generosity in making this opportunity possible.