Sport News

Motor sport volunteers praised by FIA Trainers

Regional motor sport volunteers came in for high praise after four days of training at Bushy Park concluded last Sunday (July 24). Organised by the Barbados Motoring Federation (BMF) and funded by a Cluster Grant from the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), the biggest-ever exercise of its type in the region also included participants from Antigua, Guyana and Jamaica.
 The training was carried out by an experienced team from Motorsport Australia (MA), one of four FIA Institute Regional Training Providers (RTP), which has provided training and/or operational support for the Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Korean, Malaysian, Singapore and Vietnam Grands Prix. MA’s Motorsport Training and Sporting Operations Executive David Mori said: “Thank you so much for allowing me the opportunity to share knowledge with such a fabulous and professional group of Officials and Marshals.”
 Along with MA’s Director of Motorsport & Commercial Operations Michael Smith and John Murphy, a member of the FIA Global Training Team, Mori led a wide-ranging programme of training. Classroom sessions in the St Philip facility’s Open-Air Suites were followed by practical scenarios at various locations around the circuit, including demonstrations of medical extrication, the use of cutting equipment, fire extinguishers and recovery equipment. At the end of proceedings, Certificates of Participation were presented to each attendee.
 Mori said: “We were humbled by everyone’s attentiveness and willingness to learn. The engagement from all groups was overwhelming and made our job of delivering the material much easier and really enjoyable. The level of motorsport knowledge, experience and understanding from participants was quite high, yet they were interested in learning more and really open to learning new methods and protocols.
 “What was great to see was the genuine willingness to share experiences and knowledge with each other, further strengthening the support network of the Caribbean ASNs. The attendees from Barbados, Antigua, Guyana and Jamaica were great to work with and Motorsport Australia can only hope that each individual walked away with not only new learnings but some important things to think about that will inspire them to constantly seek improvement and positively shape their officiating career.”
 Cheryl Gonsalves of the Guyana Motor Racing & Sports Club (GMR&SC) said: “It was a great experience and a pleasure mingling with Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados and Jamaica. I must say a very heartfelt thank-you to the BMF for doing the FIA Cluster Grant and bringing the regional countries closer together in developing motor sports. This was indeed a learning experience for Team Guyana and from doing this we can now bring it back to our junior marshals and pass on our knowledge and keep it in line with the development of officials under the FIA.”
 Team leader of the group from Antigua Pro Racing (APR) ‘McGyver’ Donelan said: “We in Antigua are fairly new to motorsports and appreciate any opportunity to further our education within the FIA. After each day’s training during discussions within our team we were able to see many new perspectives and apparent changes needed to our own set-up in Antigua. I can’t thank the organising committee and our Australian Motorsport instructors enough for their time and dedication.”
 Tiffany Bryan of the Marshalling Club of Jamaica (MCJ) agreed with Donelan: “My team had so much to discuss daily about things we need to reinforce and things we need to change altogether. David and Michael were engaging, informative, hilarious and brought a whole new spin to how we will do things. We loved meeting our brothers and sisters across the region and learning about our similarities and differences. We also hope that this will be the first of many events of this nature to not only train but work together in the future to strengthen our voice and standardise our event protocols regionally.”
 Along with the smaller groups from Antigua, Guyana and Jamaica, the bulk of the record number of registrations came from host country Barbados. In addition to marshals and officials from the BMF’s member clubs, the course was attended by members of the Roving Response team and a group from the Barbados Youth Advance Corps. On Friday, seven participants from the Barbados Fire Service attended from different stations across the island, with one Fire Tender and one Rescue Tender; having joined in the classroom sessions on Thursday and Friday morning, they were responsible for the practical demonstrations of firefighting and use of the Jaws of Life, led by Carlos Bishop. On Saturday, Roving Response did the presentations and the Fire Tender from the Four Roads Station in St John was on hand for the fire demonstration. Medical cover was provided by Dr Brian Charles, who also led the driver extraction scenario.
 Delighted with the success of the project, Chairman of the BMF Training Committee John Sealy said: “Thanks to the FIA agreeing to fund a Regional Cluster Training programme, were able to have a very experienced team from Motorsport Australia. Their delivery was second to none and we were all kept on our toes, whether in the classroom or on the race circuit. The trainees from the four countries bonded well and shared their local experiences. All trainees benefitted from the cross pollination of ideas and agreed to keep in touch going forward so as to maintain a Caribbean Motorsport identity.
 “The planning of the training days was excellent, so thanks are due to Jeanne Crawford, BMF Club Correspondent, and Michelle King, Office Manager at Motorsport Services. We should also thank Ullyetts Machine Shop Service for supplying the two cars which were used to demonstrate the application of the Jaws of Life and then for the fire-fighting simulation, also Carlos Bishop of the Barbados Fire Service, who gave up some of his holiday to lead the demonstrations."

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