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Christine Hancock in the competition.

Community stories

From hobbyists to industry trailblazers, these heartwarming stories show the personal side of our industry. More…

Visitors to Motor Mech couldn’t help but take notice of Christine Hancock, the only female participant in the School Mechanical Competition.

Christine Hancock being interviewed.

Christine knew from the time she was 10 years old that she wanted to be a mechanic. “I’m a daddy’s girl. I love anything I can take apart and put back together,” she explains. That includes engines, which is why she enrolled to study mechanical technology at Newton Technical High School.

Although there are seven other girls in her class, Christine says she still has to fend off comments from her male classmates who believe she doesn’t know as much as they do. “It’s frustrating, but I don’t let it get to me because I’m confident. I know my stuff.”

Christine Hancock with Jakkie Olivier, CEO of RMI.

She maintains that any woman would benefit from learning more about her car, as this would lessen her reliance on mechanics (or even her husband) should anything go wrong. After all, what could be more empowering than knowing how to fix a broken-down car?

Her advice to other women interested in entering the industry? “Hang in there. You will face criticism, but remember you have all the knowledge and skills you need.”

The competition was won by Creighton Corris, a learner at Newton Technical High School.

Winner Creighton Corris with Jakkie Olivier.