STUDENTS, DRIVERS JUMP START AHEAD OF NIKON SUPERGP
V8 Supercar drivers Shane van Gisbergen, Alex Davison, Fabian Coulthard and Michael Patrizi visited Southport State Primary School students today to celebrate the launch of the 2009 Nikon SuperGP Banana Boat Student's Day.
Over 300 students sat enthralled this morning as the four V8 Supercar drivers spoke about all things Nikon SuperGP and Banana Boat Student's Day before walking them through the life of a V8 Supercar driver -- including fitness -- and the V8 Supersafe program which also visited the school as part of the day's activities.
Southport State Primary School Principal Brad Francis said he was delighted to welcome the Nikon SuperGP and the V8 Supercar drivers and V8 Supersafe program to the school to give the students a taste of what they could expect from this year's Banana Boat Student's Day at the Nikon SuperGP.
"Southport State Primary School is well known for its fitness initiatives, so it was great for the students today to get the perspective of these professional V8 Supercar drivers on the topic as part of the Student's Day presentation," said Francis.
"Our school has been participating in the Banana Boat Student's Day for seven consecutive years now and every year we find our kids, and even our teachers, come away with new ideas and concepts from the activities on offer, and we can't wait to take our kids back there this October 22."
Held on Thursday October 22, the Nikon SuperGP Banana Boat Student's Day is free of charge to the teachers, supervisors and students of registered schools, and is open to primary and secondary schools from South East Queensland and Northern NSW. The day is designed to involve students in Queensland's largest tourism and sporting event while providing educational value outside the classroom.
"Around 10,000 students attended Banana Boat Student's Day in 2008 and from all reports it was an outstanding success," said Nikon SuperGP General Manager Greg Hooton.
"This year's presentations will include QUT Motorsport, V8 Supersafe, Banana Boat, Surf Life Saving Queensland, The Gold Coast Football Club, Sea FM, the Defence Force and Netball Queensland.
"Also this year, schools can opt to enter the 'Jump Start Your Class' competition to win $2000 worth of sporting equipment by creating a banner to support one of the competing countries in the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport and they're in it to win.
"Registrations are still open for any schools that have not yet applied, they simply need to head to the event website www.supergp.com to get on board.
"With the 20 nations of A1GP on-track on Thursday this year for the first time ever, those students participating in 2009's Banana Boat Student's Day will get to be part of an event first, and with the open-wheel racing combined with the home-grown Aussie V8s -- including those four drivers who visited the student's today -- I am sure it's going to be an action-packed day for all involved."
This is the third successive year that Banana Boat has been a proud sponsor of Students Day at the Nikon SuperGP.
"Banana Boat is proud to be the sponsor of Students Day for the third year in a row. Students Day is a fantastic learning experience for students to get involved with the Nikon SuperGP and it is great to see that the event promotes sun safety to kids as sun protection will be essential for all spectators of the Nikon SuperGP" said Aaron Collins, Brand Manager Banana Boat.
After quizzing the drivers on everything from V8 Supercar racing to their thoughts on the Nikon SuperGP, the students joined in the fun with the drivers and event MC, Becs from event partner Sea FM, with activities on safety and fitness run by the V8 Supersafe program.
"It is great to see all the kids and their interesting questions regarding V8 Supercar Racing and road safety," said Davison, who last weekend finished in tenth spot in the IRWIN/SP Racing Falcon alongside team-mate van Gisbergen in the first endurance race of the 2009 V8 Supercar Championship at Phillip Island.
"Many of the children were amazed at how much safety gear we wear when racing and it provided them with a good understanding of how different it is between driving a racing car and driving with their parents on the road."
The Wilson Security Racing pair of Coulthard and Patrizi highlighted the important role that fitness plays for the modern day V8 Supercar driver.
"I spend a lot of time on the bike, just yesterday myself and Fabian rode down from here to tweed, which is about 80kms -- we try to train for about two hours per day. By keeping fit it allows us to stay focused in the car," said Patrizi.
"It is great to hear about the fitness program that the school has got in place and seeing everyone being so active today. I look forward to all of the students coming down for the Banana Boat Student's Day at the Nikon SuperGP."
The V8 Supersafe program is an education-focused program highlighting the importance of safe driving practises, reasoned risk taking and positive choices, conducted by V8 Supercars and will also appear at the track during Banana Boat Student's Day October 22.