Thirty senior volunteer motor sport officials in the island are to benefit from a pre-season training programme organised by the island’s National Sporting Authority, the Barbados Motoring Federation (BMF), and majority funded by the sport’s world governing body, the Federation Internationale d’Automobile (FIA).
The training will take place over three days at the end of January, just before the island’s 2013 calendar kicks off; after sessions dealing with topics ranging from roles and responsibilities to event planning and incident management, the programme will culminate in a ‘Train the Trainers’ session, the first step towards selected local officials qualifying as instructors for the future.
The instructors will be Sue Sanders, Training Manager of the Motor Sports Association (MSA), the UK’s governing body, and MSA International Trainer Nigel Drayton, one of two MSA representatives who carried out a Training Needs Assessment in the island last March. They will arrive on Friday, January 25, and return to the UK the following Monday after two full days and one half-day of sessions at the Accra Beach Hotel.
BMF Vice-President John Sealy, who worked on the application for funding to the FIA Institute, noted: “This is a new development in training for motor sport in the island. While the BMF has a training sub-committee, now under the chairmanship of Warren Gollop, its remit has been to focus on our volunteer marshals. This is the first-ever training for senior officials.
“As well as the training itself, a very important element is the Train the Trainer Programme (TTP). A small group will be selected for the Monday morning session, which deals with the skills necessary to be a trainer. Then, towards the end of the year, the BMF will provide the opportunity for two or more delegates to attend a TTP organised by the MSA in the UK. This will be highly beneficial, as it will enable the BMF to provide our own training programmes in the future, without relying on outside resources.”
Officials from all six of the BMF’s sporting member Clubs have been invited to participate in this month’s sessions, some of whom were involved in the Training Needs Assessment last year. Sealy added: “I am currently working with the Clubs to assemble the final list, as it is important to ensure that all the various disciplines will benefit.”
Both MSA International Trainers have many years of motor sport experience across a broad range of disciplines. In addition to their extensive work in motor sport training worldwide, Sanders is Chair of the Women in Motorsport Group for the MSA and was a founder member in 2010 of the FIA Women & Motor Sport Commission, while Drayton is an MSA Steward, including membership of the permanent Stewards panel of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.
Just one week after the training sessions, the new island motor sport season gets under way. The BMF’s Approved 2013 Calendar runs from the first weekend of February until the last weekend of November, with a total of 47 events to be organised by the Federation’s six sporting member Clubs: the Barbados Association of Dragsters & Drifters (BADD), the Barbados Auto Racing League (BARL), the Barbados Karting Association (BKA), the Barbados Rally Club (BRC), Motoring Club of Barbados Inc (MCBI) and the Vaucluse Raceway Motorsport Club (VRMSC).
Despite ongoing economic challenges, motor sport continued to thrive in Barbados in 2012; for a second consecutive season, around 400 local competitors took part in BMF-sanctioned events. The number of overseas competitors was a record for the second year in a row, 88 in total, compared with 85 in 2011 and the previous highest of 81 in 2007, again demonstrating the sustainability of motor sport’s contribution to the island’s sports-tourism portfolio, even in harsh economic times. Last year, 63 International drivers or co-drivers contested Sol Rally Barbados, along with nine from the wider Caribbean, while a further 16 from around the region travelled to compete at the Digicel Williams Seaboard Marine International Race Meet.

Editor’s note: affiliated to the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), which rules the sport worldwide, the Barbados Motoring Federation (BMF) is the island’s governing body for motor sport; it also represents the interests of its member Clubs in discussions with Government departments which facilitate the sport in the island, in particular the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, which permits road closures for an agreed number of events each year. Away from motor sport, the BMF affiliate which answers the FIA Mobility remit is the Barbados Automobile Association (BAA), which is an executive committee member of the Government’s Barbados Road Safety Council.


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