With you Japan and Glico Present "Takuma Kids Kart Challenge 2015" Held at Sportsland SUGO
May 5, 2015
With you Japan (WyJ) held their second annual "Kids Kart Challenge" event on May 5, as a project to support the earthquake recovery of 3-11. The yearly event aims to spread awareness of WyJ's activities in order to support disaster recovery efforts nationwide by providing an avenue for families to have fun.
The day was a great success, with 83 parents and 71 children in attendance. The event received 142 applications in total, along with many inquiries regarding whether or not it was still accepting entries after the applicant closing date arrived, however, due to space not all applicants were able to participate. WyJ hopes to make room for more children to participate in future events, so that they can experience the fun of karting.
The day started out cloudy, but later cleared up to a nice 23 degrees Celsius, which made for very comfortable weather. Five kids-sized karts in the color of the event's sponsor, Gilco, were prepared for the 50 children selected to participate. The children were then divided into 10 groups, with each group driving a kart at a 30-minute training session prior to the race. The children rode kids' karts with a string attached to the rear end, which adults held to control the kart and ensure the safety of the rider during driving, turning and stopping. Afterwards everyone moved to the international kart course and drove two laps of time trial, following the instructor while he drove in the lead.
Many children seemed nervous in the beginning; however, as the instructor taught them to drive they started warming up and learned the acceleration technique, and were eventually able to confidently drive with a smile. Some children were even able to drive like an experienced adult driver. It is surprising how fast children can learn!
Lunch was provided by Glico and the participants were gifted Glico snacks and an inflatable toy. Many kids seemed to enjoy playing with their toys as soon as they were given.
At the end of the event, each participant was provided with a certificate recording their time trial, and then gathered at the race track to take a group photo. Attendees also enjoyed watching a 4-hour endurance kart race, involving 120 kart drivers competing from 25 teams, that was being held at SUGO that same day.
Unfortunately, Takuma was not able to attend the event due to a race in the U.S., but the children were promised that the success of this event and how hard all of them try to recover from the disaster would be reported to Takuma. One of the participants from the disaster-affected area commented, "Thank you for continuing to show your support by holding an event for us each year, even as the public's concern with disaster stricken areas wane as time passes."
WyJ will start preparing their mini-race event in November and appreciates everyone's continuing support of their ongoing activities.