The Cancer Drive: An Initiative by Women In Motorsport

The Cancer Drive: An Initiative by Women In Motorsport

It’s no secret that COVID-19 has affected all of your lives and livelihood. For us in the Motorsports industry, it was no different! It’s been tough not being able to race and meet with our racing family. So what do we do? How do we reverse the negative impact of COVID-19 and a create a positive impact, one that not only impacts our lives but that of other individuals. Well, some of the Women in Motorsport got together and decided on an initiative. We thought, how can we be creative about giving back, especially given the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic downturn in our economy. In other words, how do we share what we love during this period? 

The Women in Motorsport decided to host what is being dubbed as “The Cancer Drive”. Given that it was the month of October; Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Women decided to reach out to The Cancer Society of Trinidad and Tobago and asked their assistance in providing Breast Cancer Survivors who would be interested in the initiative. The idea behind the initiative was to introduce the women (survivors) to our world- the world of Motorsport. We wanted to show them that we care, that they matter, that they’re not in this fight alone and that they are truly strong and amazing women. At some point, all of us have been affected by this dreadful disease, we’ve all lost a loved one, whether it’s been a family member, a friend or a co-worker. So this hits home for all of us. 

The initiative was spear-headed by Janelle Albarado-Billouin, the lone female Motorcycle Racer in Trinidad and Tobago. She was joined by two-time nominee for Sportswoman of the Year Award, Drag Racer, Allison Gajadhar and by the 2019 Most Improved Female Drag Racer, Celeste Gajadhar. Also joining this initiative were the young karting trailblazers Naomi and Zoey Garcia (daughters of the infamous Drag Racer, Ryan Garcia).

Given the COVID-19 restrictions, we were limited in the number of persons we could host and so we were only able to accommodate two survivors at this time: Ms. Linda Sammy and Ms. Corinna Breedy. The women were treated to a photoshoot with the female racers and given drives down the quarter mile in a race car. Of course, all racing safety regulations were adhered to and all COVID-19 guidelines were in place and in effect. To say the initiative was a success, is an understatement as the ladies were thrilled with the experience and is already looking forward to another. 

Of course, none of what we do would be made possible without the permission and support of our ASN – The Trinidad and Tobago Automobile Sports Association (TTASA), with special thanks to the President, Mr. Fyzool Madan for allowing us the use of the Frankie Boodram Wallerfield International Raceway for this initiative.

We would like to take the opportunity to extend special thanks to the Cancer Society of Trinidad and Tobago and Ms. Corinna Breedy and Ms. Linda Sammy for being a part of this wonderful venture. This initiative is the first of its kind for the Women in Motorsport and it is something we hope to continue with in the future as we include more female racers and cancer survivors. 

Stay tuned for the next installment.

Words by Allison Gajadhar.



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