Naomi Schiff: On the fast track

2011-06-10 15:27

Six years ago, Naomi Schiff was just a girl who loved swimming

and judo until she attended a friend’s birthday party where she climbed into a

go-kart for the first time. She was immediately hooked and a year later she

competed for the first time.

“I was being a typical girl. All I thought about was how cute boys

were and how I liked being with my friends. Now go-karting is my life and I want

it to be my career.”

Now 17-year-old Schiff will be representing South Africa at the

Super Rok class in Italy for the first race of the series.

Though she had, at that time, no previous interest in motorsport,

her father was a Formula Ford champion in his youth and the gene has clearly

been passed on.

Between studying at school and training at the gym every day,

the grade 11 pupil doesn’t have time for much else. She races every second

week during karting season and trains on the go-kart track in Vereeniging

most weekends.

To get her into the Rok World Finals series, she had to secure a

spot as one of the top two best karters in the country. No easy feat.

She is also one of a very few girls racing in the country and often

competes against much older competitors who are well into their 30s.

“When we are kitted out and have our helmets on, we all look the

same so it’s not really about guys and girls.

The guys are usually very friendly

and helpful, but they’d much rather be beaten by another guy in a race than by a

woman,” she says.

“But being a girl in this sport is empowering and I’ve set my eyes

on going as far as I can and making a future out of this.”

Schiff says go-karting is not doing as well as it should be,

considering how much local talent there is.

“The biggest problem we face as youth in this sport is development

and funding,” she says.

Even though her mother is Rwandan and was raised in the Congo and

her father is Belgian, Schiff says she is proudly South African and has lived

here since she was four years old.

“Being young in SA at this time is pretty cool.

“We can do what we want and we have a lot of freedom.

We can date

who we want, do any kind of sports and chill with anyone from any race.

“Our generation shouldn’t let anyone ever tell us that we can’t do

something.

The key is believing in ourselves and achieving the goals we set for

ourselves.”

 

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.