MARIA COSTELLO MBE is determined to raise the profile of the TT Riders Association after being unveiled as the organisation’s first female president in its 67-year history.
The Northamptonshire racer was handed the chain of office at the association’s annual luncheon at the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham.
The TT Riders Association is the only Isle of Man registered charity in motorcycle racing and helps racers and their families when they have been injured or have fallen on hard times.
Committee member Mick Chatterton added: “We saw Maria’s dedication to the TT and successes around the course. Combine that with her public profile and her superb PR skills and we knew she would be a great President, one who could connect the TTRA with a younger and wider audience of potential new supporters.”
Maria follows a host of greats from the world of motorcycling in this prestigious role, and she said: “This is an absolute honour and I will be as determined as I have been with my racing to support this charity.”
Costello, who was made an MBE in 2009 in recognition of her career as one of Britain’s leading female racers, assumed the presidency from Richard ‘Milky’ Quayle, who is one of only three Manxmen to win a TT. Other holders of the prestigious role have included Charles Mortimer, John Surtees MBE, Joey Dunlop OBE and Nick Jefferies.
The inauguration luncheon was a great success with more than £10,000 raised from the auction. Costello’s acceptance speech was well received by a supportive audience as she started her term as the first female president.
Costello added: “The association works so hard to help racers and their families when they encounter hardship or injury but the need for confidentiality means their work often goes unnoticed. I’ll use all my skills to help raise the profile of the TTRA and hopefully encourage lots more TT racers, fans and motorcycle groups to support the charity and become TTRA or FOTTRA members.”
Costello says that she is thrilled to be the first female president and added: “I may be the first woman in the role, but I hope many more female racers will follow in my footsteps.
“I would also like to pay tribute to another female driving force, Frances Thorp, who continues to work tirelessly with her TTRA team to make the association what it is today.”
Non-racers can help the association by joining Friends of the TTRA. Details from Frances Thorp, honorary secretary, on 01624 843695 or 07624 402505 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.