Rally drivers hail training sessions
Leading rally drivers were today vocal in their praise and support for mandatory training sessions staged this week by the Barbados Motoring Federation (BMF), the governing body of motor sport in the island.
About 60 competitors attended the two-part course staged on Tuesday and Thursday evening at the Sir Garfield Sobers Sports Complex.
Using a mixture of interactive, powerpoint and video presentation, topics included what to do during an incident, rally safety for competitors, the essentials of fire-fighting, personal and vehicle safety and preparation, along with legal and insurance requirements. BMF trainers Neil Corbin and Kreigg Yearwood conducted the courses, assisted on Thursday evening, when the topics included basic first aid, by Dr Brian Charles, the chief medical officer for the island’s major motor sport events.
Multiple champion Roger Hill said: “I am not proud to say that what I learnt this week were things that I needed to know over 30 years ago and I take off my hat to the BMF for developing this training. I am certainly more knowledgeable now to assist my co-driver or any other teams, if need be. Hopefully, that will never be the case. From here, first aid training will be a must for me and I would encourage everyone to follow suit. Let’s have the knowledge to assist.”
Harold Morley, among the most experienced competitors in the room, shared Hill’s view.
“In deciding to make this course mandatory, the BMF took a bold step that deserves recognition and applause from all members. I was very impressed by the most professional standard of presentation, which made the content interesting and challenging for us all.”
Sol Rally Barbados 2014 winner Roger Skeete added his support.
“I have done a number of safety and first aid courses. Each time, there is new enlightenment coming out of changes of procedures or new medical techniques that are potential life-savers. As members of the motor sport fraternity, we should all welcome this help in making sure we do everything we can to ensure our safety. Wherever the clubs go to make sure we are always at maximum attack on preventing dangerous situations, I shall support them.”
Rhett Watson added: “While I knew a lot of what was being taught, it was a good refresher for me, as we haven’t had this kind of training in 10 years. The cars are getting faster and faster, and its always a good reminder that accidents can happen, whether to me or a fellow competitor. Thanks to the BMF Training Committee for their massive effort in pulling this off. I hope all that attended took away valuable lessons.”
BMF Trainer Yearwood concluded: “The feedback I got was that the training was a long time coming, but that everyone would have benefited in some way by being there, particularly the newer and younger members in the sport. We also got some constructive advice on how to improve the course going forward. The idea was to have everyone more conscious of practising and having an attitude of safety when it comes to motor sport. This stretches from personal and vehicle preparation, right through to competition and the correct procedure for dealing with incidents, from simple ‘offs’ to situations where fire is involved, or where medical intervention might be needed.”
Looking back on the week’s sessions, chairman of the Motorsport Training Committee Warren Gollop said it had already been a ground-breaking year for the revitalised BMF Training Committee.
“I am proud of what we have achieved so far. I have been really encouraged to read the comments made by some of our top competitors after this week’s course, particularly as credit was given to the professionalism of our BMF Trainers. I want to thank them for their commitment, also all the attendees, as we work to make our sport as safe as we can for all involved,” Gollop said.