BARBADOS RALLY CLUB URGED TO LOOK TO THE FUTURE

60th Anniversary celebrations to reflect founding values

 

Three months ahead of events to mark the 60th Anniversary of the Barbados Rally Club (BRC), members have been urged not only to celebrate the Club’s past achievements but also to consider the future, in particular to seek out the new generation needed to carry the BRC into the next few decades. This was the message from Chairman Mark Hamilton in his annual report at last night’s (Monday) AGM at the Barbados Clay Target Shooting Association (BCTSA) Clubhouse at Searles, Christ Church.

  Having said early in his address that he sees this as “a critical time for the Club and its membership to understand where we are going and why,” Hamilton went on to detail the key reasons behind his statement: “Our sport, and particularly this Club, has grown significantly in the past 10 years. In my view, our Club has the distinction of being at the pinnacle of planning and execution within island motor sport, which has now placed an unsustainable strain on some aspects of our operations. Simply put, the load needs to be shared over a broader support structure.”

  Hamilton reported that the commitment made by the Committee of Management (CoM) at last year’s AGM to improve the Club’s financial foundation had been achieved, through improved event and financial planning, attraction of additional corporate funding and tighter overall controls, without diluting the quality of motor sport offered to members. In addition, as part of future planning, he identified three recent initiatives:

a) the acquisition of Motorsport Services (MS): founded seven years ago by BRC Trustee and Director John Sealy, MS provides a vital support mechanism to the island’s entire motor sport community, dealing with annual subscriptions and event entries, also administering the Duty Free scheme of behalf of the Barbados Motoring Federation (BMF). Hamilton explained: “While continuing to service the BMF and the other clubs, Motorsport Services will become the administrative hub of our Club, with a full-time Administrator, Michelle King; Michelle is no stranger to motor sport, a volunteer marshal for many years and award-winner at this year’s Prize-giving.”

b) the appointment of an event planning consultant, Carrie Corbin, to assist with key components of Sol RB17 - co-ordination of overseas entries; non-competitive events, such as the Rally Show and VIP; also the generation of new revenue opportunities . . .

c) the access to FIA funding that will allow the acquisition of safety gear to the value of $80,000.00, namely a ‘Jaws of Life’ set, a back-of-the-cab ‘fire suppression unit’ and two full fire suits. Hamilton added: “To support this, our long-term partner Simpson Motors has provided a 4x4 pick-up to carry the equipment and respond to a major incident.”

  While he spoke positively in the early part of his report, Hamilton later sounded a note of caution, in relation to the Club’s future stewardship: “The current committee has, by and large, remained intact for more than 10 years - some of us for even longer than that - and it is time to plan for the younger generation to take up the responsibility of guiding the Club into the future. The process has already started, with Jamal Brathwaite, Neil Corbin and Kreigg Yearwood now among our number, but this is not enough.

  “Transitions like this cannot - and should not - be overnight, given the relationships, method, process, infrastructure, finance and responsibility that the Club now has. There is a learning curve and we must identify at least three or four additional persons who will, in effect, become ‘shadows’ of existing CoM members so that a smooth transition can take place in the coming years . . . be that 2019 or 2020.”

  Plans to celebrate the BRC’s 60th Anniversary are still “a work in progress”, said Hamilton, but they will not feature the major functions, including a Gala Dinner, which marked the half-century a decade ago. Rather, the celebrations will reflect the casual atmosphere of the Club’s early events and the family values on which the Club was founded, including a Sunday barbecue at the finish of the Sol June Safari. Hamilton added: “The June Safari will be set to encourage a large participation of competitors, both past and present, with the target of attracting 60 crews in celebration of the 60th Anniversary. More details will follow.”

  In closing, Hamilton thanked the volunteer Stage Commanders and marshals for their hard work and dedication, the print, broadcast and on-line media for their extensive coverage of motor sport, the public and private sector for their confidence in the Club and its activities, the membership for their continued support, along with “all of those who quietly lend a hand without any acknowledgement or fuss.”

 

Election of the Committee of Management (CoM) was a simple affair, with all members returned unopposed: Chairman, Mark Hamilton; Vice-Chairman, Geoffrey Noel; Treasurer, Jeanne Crawford; Competition Secretary, Neil Corbin; Assistant Competition Secretary, Kreigg Yearwood; Assistant Competition Secretary (MudDogs), Ricky Holder; Vehicle Classification Officer, Adrian Linton; Secretary, Jamal Brathwaite; Marshal Liaison Officer, Roger Hill; Equipment Officer, Roger Sargeant; Public Relations Officer, Neil Barnard; Entertainment Secretary, Sean Gill.

 

BRC Driver's & Class Championships; BRC 2wd & 4wd Championships: Round 1 – Apr 23, Sunoco Shakedown Stages; Round 2 – May 28, Flow King of the Hill; Rounds 3 & 4 – June 2-4, Sol Rally Barbados 2017; Rounds 5 & 6 – Oct 8, BRC SuperSprint; Round 7 – Nov 24/25, BRC Winter Stages Chefette MudDogs Safari & Chefette MudDogs Safari Novice Championships: Round 1 - Mar 12, BRC MudDogs March Safari; Round 2 - April 8, Chefette April Safari; Round 3 - Jun 24/25, Sol 60th Anniversary June Safari; Round 4 - Sep 17, BRC MudDogs September Safari; Round 5 - Nov 12, Nassco November Safari. Non-championship: May 1 - MudFest BRC Autocross Championship: Round 1 - Feb 19; Round 2 - Apr 1; Round 3 - Aug 12; Round 4 - Nov 5

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