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Ladies In Racing








  Kate Hoey, the UK Minister for Sport

Kate Hoey Kate Hoey, the UK Minister for Sport, attended the TT races for the first time last June. We managed to catch up with her, and ask her what she thought of the world famous event.


Kate; you visited the TT last year for the first time. What were your impressions of the event?
I thought it was a really wonderful event, which was very well organised. I would say that it is certainly one of the best sporting events I have been to, the best organised, and most definitely one of the most enjoyable for me personally.

What had you heard about the TT before you visited?
Quite a lot actually. My father was a big TT fan and he attended the races on many occasions when he was younger. I had always wanted to see this event he spoke off, and coming from Northern Ireland where Road Racing is very popular also, we got to hear quite a lot from the races.

Are you planning to make a return visit at any stage?
Well it seems likely that the General Election could take place during TT fortnight this year which would obviously prevent me from attending although I had planned to return this year. I will certainly come over to the Island again for the TT at some stage in the future if not this year.

You originate from Northern Ireland were Road Racing is very popular. Had you ever been to a Road Racing event before the TT?
Yes I had. We used to attend the Ulster Grand Prix each year when it was held at Claddy on the course with the seven-mile straight. We had relatives who actually lived on that straight, so we used to go there to spectate.

I have also been to the North West 200 once also, which is another fantastic event, with huge crowds.

Last year TT legend Joey Dunlop was tragically killed racing in Estonia. You witnessed his 23rd TT win in the Formula One race. What was he like when you met him?
I met Joey before the Formula One race and he was very calm, and very confident, but not saying much (laughs). I had heard a lot about Joey and I am pleased to say that everything I had heard about him was true.

I was luck enough to garland him after his wonderful victory and he was a bit more talkative then. It was great to see him with his family, all of whom were so happy after his wonderful performance.

I did speak to his brother quite a lot, who is obviously a lot more talkative.

You also attended his funeral back in your home country of Northern Ireland. What do you think his death meant to the people of Northern Ireland and the racing community in general?
Well the funeral was the biggest I have ever seen and am likely to see. It was just amazing how many people turned up to say their respects to this legend of motorbike racing.

It brought many different communities together with people from both sides of the border in Ireland plus many from the Isle of Man, the UK and from the continent all turning up to this little church to pay their respects.

I was also lucky enough to be present at the tribute for him in Manx Grand Prix week back on the Island. That was a fantastic tribute to him, just amazing. I was in a car at the front of the procession, and it was amazing to see the amount of people who turned out. It was very emotional.

Thank you for taking the time to talk to us, and we look forward to seeing you back in the Isle of Man in the future.

Well thank you. It was lovely to talk to you.



Kate Hoey was talking to Paul Phillips


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