Senior motor sport volunteers keen to enhance their skill sets were praised at the weekend as they assembled for a pre-season training programme organised by the Barbados Motoring Federation and majority funded by the sport’s world governing body, the Federation Internationale d’Automobile.
In his welcome address, chairman of the board of the National Sports Council, Seibert Straughan, said he was delighted that the international governing body continued to be supportive of Barbados’ development as a motor sports nation.
“The fact that our participants in this programme are volunteers, who have opted to enhance their knowledge, is especially laudable. This speaks volumes about our spirit of volunteerism in sports in Barbados.
“I am particularly pleased to learn that this programme will culminate with the training of instructors, with two Barbadians being selected for advanced training in the UK.
This fits well with the National Sports Council’s focus, as we have recognised that competent instructors are key to moving our sports to the next level. I commend the BMF for seeking to enhance your capacity with additional qualified instructors.”
Delegates came from all six of the BMF’s sporting member Clubs: the Barbados Association of Dragsters & Drifters, the Barbados Auto Racing League, the Barbados Karting Association, the Barbados Rally Club, Motoring Club of Barbados Inc and the Vaucluse Raceway Motorsport Club.
Informative and very motivating
Deputy clerk of the course of Sol Rally Barbados and public relations officer for the BRC Neil Barnard said: “I found the training to be informative and very motivating. There are areas, particularly in terms of event planning and safety, that I can see us implementing on our events in the future. I never felt that the instructors were trying to get us to change what we were doing in Barbados, more a case of teaching us how to analyse what we are doing and perhaps coming up with solutions and processes that will improve our events within our local Barbadian motor sport context.”
MCBI president David Williams echoed Barnard’s comments: “I was involved with this idea when it was just a suggestion, and it sure feels great to have seen it come to fruition. Put into two words, in my opinion, it was informative and effective. Wearing my BMF chief safety officer’s hat, I am certainly very pleased at the additional information, which was explained and given out and I am confident that I can carry out my duties even more efficiently and confidently.”
BARL race committee director Kurt Seabra said the senior officials training programme was one of the biggest steps taken by the Federation since it came into existence.
“This further cements the island’s position at the top of regional motor sport, especially in the organisation and administration of events. From a BARL perspective, it was great to find out that a lot of the things we already have in place with respect to safety meet international ‘best practice’ standards for our level of the sport.
“Added to this, most of our senior officials now have a much better knowledge of event planning and preparation, incident- management and, most important, the judicial process. We need to make some changes in the structure of how we do things and intend to put some of these changes in place for our season opener at Bushy Park on February 10.”
Spread over three days at the Accra Beach Hotel, the training sessions dealt with topics ranging from roles and responsibilities to event planning and incident management and culminated in a ‘Train the Trainers’ session, the first step towards selected local officials qualifying as instructors for the future.
Each official received a certificate of attendance. Sue Sanders, training manager of the Motor Sports Association the UK’s governing body, and MSA international trainer Nigel Drayton conducted the course. (RB)††