Friday 20 January 2023

Rally - Meet & Greet

Within motor sport these days there seems to be a flurry of on-line activity with training courses and seminars catering for all disciplines, plus of course various registration schemes and ‘exams’ for those wishing to qualify for higher grades of Marshalling, organising and officiating.

However, many ordinary club members, competitors and fans will be unaware of the numbers and depth of this on-line resource, although much of this behind the scenes work is necessary and even compulsory in these times of ‘enlightened’ attitudes to Health & Safety not to mention Political Correctness. There are of course still some face to face meetings and discussions arranged at public venues around the country but they seem to be fewer in number these days as folks talk ‘Teams’ or turn to ‘Zoom’.

And that’s a pity, you can’t have a right old argy-bargy over t’internet, because the host can always hit the ‘cancel’ button rather than face criticism or answer awkward questions. When you have a panel of experts facing an assembled throng in a public meeting room or assembly hall it’s much more difficult to escape and if a question has not been adequately answered or explained, the Chair won’t find it as easy to move on to another subject until the matter at hand has been dealt with. Think ‘Question Time’ on the beeb.

Of course there are pluses and minuses to the on-line alternative. Such meetings can be held more often and more easily as required without the cost of hiring rooms and travelling to and from venues which may be quite some distance away for some attendees, especially those in the north or the deep south west. On the other hand some might say (surely not?) that on-line meetings are preferable because those who are being held to account can more easily dodge the pertinent issues and persistent questioners.

With that in mind, Motorsport UK is hosting what could be a rather important meeting later this month to which only two representatives from each motor club will be allowed to join in.

So why will this Club Webinar be different? Facing the great British motor sports club elite will be David Richards CBE, Chair of Motorsport UK, and Hugh Chambers, Chief Executive Officer. Topics to be discussed will include the results from the recent member survey, activities and achievements from 2022, as well as plans for 2023 including Motorsport UK’s Vision 2030. I just hope this will not simply be a ‘talking shop’ but also include a ‘listening shop’.

Mr Chambers has been in his post for five years now while Mr Richards has one year left of his second three year term as Chair. Many promises were made at the start of that ‘new dawn’ but what has been achieved, and missed? Admittedly Covid and Lockdown intervened but I’d still to like to see their Report Card and what might be scrawled across it in black ink - or red!

The meeting is due to start at 7.00pm. I sincerely hope that MS UK have ensured that they have booked a decent time slot and not the standard ‘free’ 55 minute introductory offer period. I also hope that the club reps get themselves armed with their questions beforehand - and ensure they get answers. Motor sport is in a perilous position these days, especially the off-track disciplines. 

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