Jenson Button revved up for back-to-back grands prix in Spain and Monaco by taking a trip down memory lane and visiting the three schools he attended as a boy growing up in England.
The reigning world champion is an ambassadors for the Motor Sports Association's 'Go Motorsport' initiative, for supporting the UK governing body's campaign to help more people into all areas of motorsport, and used the role of inspirational former student on his return to Frome in Somerset.
The morning started with a visit to the Vallis First School that the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver attended as a child. Thereafter, Button appeared in front of huge school assemblies at the Selwood Middle School and, finally, the Frome Community College where he completed his formal education. Button spent an hour in each school talking to the current generation of students, answering a raft of questions and meeting some of his old teachers.
“From a personal point of view, it was fantastic for me to go back to the three schools I went to when growing up in Frome,” Button admitted, “Looking at the bigger picture, though, it's great that Go Motorsport is going into schools all around the country showing students of all ages what motorsport has to offer whether as a career or pastime. I was lucky that my father bought me a kart when I was eight years old but, for others, it's not so easy to get started. That's why I'm delighted to be supporting this initiative and happy to help whenever my diary allows.”
As part of the busy programme all three schools also received a Go Motorsport presentation from Rob Manger, one of ten regional development officers employed by the campaign to present all the attractions and opportunities offered by motorsport to school assemblies and classrooms throughout the UK.
“We are delighted that Jenson has found time to support this campaign in his home town,' said MSA CEO Colin Hilton, “Both he and Lewis [Hamilton] are great role models and their fantastic achievements are inspiring more and more youngsters to get involved in motorsport.
"Jenson was lucky enough to have a father who competed but, for others without such a strong family connection, it can be tricky to know where to start. That's why we have set up this Go Motorsport school visits programme as well as the Let's Go Karting scheme. Whether its world champions or the high-tech industries that put them on the grid, Britain has always been at the forefront of global motorsport and we are confident that the investment that the MSA is making today will help to maintain our enviable position in the future.”
Button will also have a footbridge named after him in the Somerset town where he was born and raised.