All motorsport events need volunteers to help them run safely and effectively. The Circuit of Ireland Rally for example had more than 800 volunteers working on the event. Additional help is always welcome but just how do you get involved?
When you’re on the stages at rally weekends, take a look around and you’ll see people wearing bright orange bibs. These are the safety marshals – they are all volunteers and they are there to make sure spectators are safe.
In addition to these safety marshals, there are many more volunteers working on the event. The scrutineers who make sure that competitors’ cars adhere to the technical rules and regulations are volunteers. The timekeepers at the stage starts and finishes, chatting briefly with competitors and filling in their timecards, are volunteers.
There are lots more people behind the scenes that are essential to ensure events run safely and smoothly. In fact, there are so many different roles available that it’s impossible to list them all. It’s safe to say that there are roles to suit everybody and being a volunteer can be a very rewarding experience.
Volunteers are welcome at any age, although the duties of young people may be limited in certain situations. Between the age of 11 and 16, you can become a cadet marshal where you can get involved in a variety of different roles.
You don’t need any special skills, although if you have some (perhaps technical, mechanical, rescue, vehicle recovery, medical, first aid or administration) then you can use them as a volunteer in motorsport if you want to.
Volunteering can be really interesting, is a great hobby to have and can provide fantastic motorsport experiences that you may never have imagined possible.
So you want to get involved…where do you go? Your first stop should be to contact your local motor club. If you live in Northern Ireland, you can find a full list of local motor clubs online at www.anicc.org.uk.
Alternatively, you can also drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and the local Regional Development Officer will be able to point you in the right direction.
Different clubs organise different events. Some may specialise in stage rallies (like the Circuit of Ireland), while others might concentrate on autotesting or maybe even competitive 4×4 off road driving. There are also clubs that organise a variety of different disciplines.
Once you’ve identified a club (or clubs) that you’d like to get involved with, you can attend their club meeting. Motor clubs love to see new faces and will welcome you with open arms.
You’ll get to know lots of new like-minded people and will not only become involved in events but also the motorsport social scene too. You might even be tempted to start competing…
So what are you waiting for? If you fancy getting closer to the action, then make the first move. You’ll be missing out if you don’t!
Words : Jonathan MacDonald | Photos: Graham Curry