Full speed ahead for North Hamilton karting

A celebrity go-kart race around the streets of North Hamilton is planned for next month as part of a free family event to promote a sense of community.

Rick Richardson, head of the organising charity, Bermuda International Football Festival, said the event would also bring churchmen on to the streets and get them behind the wheel. He added: “We are now full speed ahead for a really good family event.

“We want to bring more positivity to the city and to the central area.”

He said the karting extravaganza and music festival, set for October 13 at EF Gordon Square, had “wholehearted support” from the Corporation of Hamilton.

A roster of drivers will include kart veterans David Barbosa, Jess Sousa, Owen DeCosta, Blake Horseman and Scott Barnes.

Mr Richardson said he had persuaded pastors such as Leroy Bean, the Government’s gang reduction co-ordinator. and the Reverend Nicholas Tweed, to open the races with a “peace drive”.

He explained: “We want pastors to come out of their comfort zone and let people see that they believe in this community.

“It’s a small gesture, but we believe it is a necessary one.”

Celebrity drivers expected to take part include former attorney-general Mark Pettingill, record- setting former Cup Match players Janeiro Tucker and Charlie Marshall, and Zach Moniz, the manager of Lindo’s Group of Companies.

Mr Richardson said he wanted to bring “encouragement to the young men of the area”.

He added that tensions in the community were “very much on our minds”.

Mr Richardson said: “It’s time for all of us to pause, take a deep breath and relax.”

A spokeswoman for the City of Hamilton said the event has been given the go-ahead and engineering and events teams were working with organisers.

Final approval is expected next week.

Mr Richardson said he had organised a similar race at Hamilton’s BAA field in his days as a sports broadcaster in the 1980s.

He added: “It was harrowing, exciting, and popular — it was really well received.”

Organisers include community activists Dennis Bean and Gina Spence, as well as sports veteran Wendell Daniels and singer Mitchell “Live Wires” Trott.

Mr Richardson said drummers from Victor Scott Primary School have agreed to take part and Suzette Harvey of United Dance Productions had also signed up.

He added: “It is sponsored and supported by many local businesses who will have their banners on display.

“Without their support, these events that we need as a community could not take place.”

The group said it had started to notify residents about the event and would soon release a schedule.

The route will run along Dundonald, Princess, Elliott and Court streets. Guest drivers will get karting lessons from Scott Barnes before the race.

Mr Richardson said: “We’re trying to have that happen next week. That will be a hit in itself.”

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