Four senior motor sport volunteers from Barbados are flying north this month for training courses organised by the United Kingdom’s governing body, the Motor Sports Association.
While designed to increase their personal knowledge about the management of the island’s most popular spectator sport, the courses will also enable them to train officials and competitors in the future.
This is the second phase of a programme initiated by the Barbados Motoring Federation in January, when a pre-season training session conducted by instructors from the MSA and majority funded by the sport’s world governing body, the Federation Internationale d’Automobile, attracted more than 30 of the island’s senior volunteer officials for an intense three-day course at the Accra Beach Hotel.
Warren Gollop, chairman of the BMF’s training sub-committee said: “We were delighted that 34 volunteers committed to island motor sport were willing to give up an entire weekend back in January. And we’re even more pleased now that the success of those sessions has resulted in our delegates being offered places on the ‘Train the Trainer’ courses in the UK. It is a real feather in our cap.
“Not only will each delegate have a chance to learn more for himself, but the key element from our perspective is that they are being taught how to deliver the training modules themselves. And that gives us the ability to train our volunteers and competitors in the future, using our own resources in the island.”
The four delegates are Wayne Clarke, Neil Corbin, Kurt Seabra and Kreigg Yearwood, whose collective experience and involvement as competitor and organiser cover a wide range of motor sport disciplines, including circuit racing, off-roading, stage rallying and speed events. Yearwood was the first delegate to fly, attending last weekend’s (September 7 and 8) course in Newcastle-upon-Tyne; Clarke, Corbin and Seabra travel next Wednesday to Chateau Impney, near Droitwich in the British Midlands, for the course on September 21 and 22.
Clarke is a former circuit racer and board member of the Barbados Auto Racing League, but also the record-breaking six-time winner of the Barbados Rally Club’s June Rally, a navigational event and the oldest motor sport event in the Caribbean with a continuous history. Of his forthcoming trip, Clarke said: “It is now 33 years since I first joined a motor sport club, since when the level of competition in all the clubs has risen and the need for more qualified personnel to help administer, organise and run events of all types is becoming more apparent.
“I look forward to helping the BMF advance motor sport in Barbados and this training will be one of the ways I can give back some of my time to the sport which I have enjoyed over the years.”
Corbin, the competition secretary of the BRC and the club’s reigning champion driver, said: “I am really hoping to gather as much knowledge and best practice for planning and organising safe motor sport. Since this is a ‘Train the Trainer’ programme I also expect to pick up some useful skills to effectively pass on what I learn to my colleagues in motor sport, so that we can all benefit. Taking part in such a programme is a rare opportunity and I thank the BMF for making it happen.”
Former BARL race director Seabra has been a leading figure in circuit racing in Barbados and the wider Caribbean for more than a decade, and has recently returned to competition, as a rally co-driver. Of the MSA programme, he said:
“The growth of motor sport in Barbados shows no signs of slowing, and this training opportunity is a first for our region. I see us as sort-of pioneers for what I hope we can achieve, which is to have a group of regional volunteers, who can deliver the various training modules so we are self-sufficient in supplying all our training needs.”
Yearwood has recently switched roles from competitor to organiser. A successful rally co-driver and off-road navigator, Yearwood is now on the organising team of Sol Rally Barbados, the Caribbean’s biggest annual motor sport international.
Yearwood said: “I enjoy learning and am keen to advance my motor sport career. After many years of successful co-driving, I’ve switched to organising duties, a behind the scenes aspect of the sport which I am very much enjoying. To be selected for the Train the Trainer course is chance I am very grateful for, and I hope to put a lot more back into the sport and help raise its standard in Barbados.” (RB)