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Seasons Greetings from the Chair

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It’s been an eventful month since my last blog…..and the liberty of a few extra days before publication!

Regional AGMs, last Council meeting of the year and the National AGM on Sunday for starters – thank you to everyone who attended.  Hopefully face-to-face possibilities next year!

Motorsport UK created the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee (EDI) which consists of 4 Sub Committees:

  •             Disability & Accessibility
  •             LGBTQ+
  •             Racial Diversity
  •             Women in Motorsport

The mission is to celebrate and enable participation in motorsport in a safe, fair, fun, inclusive and progressive environment.

I attended the inaugural conference on Driving Forward Racial Diversity in Motorsport at Bicester Heritage.  An interesting, thought-provoking, inspiring and emotional day.  Thanks to Sophia Bi for the invite who sits on Motorsport UKs Racial Diversity Sub-Committee and is a passionate advocate of diversity.  Looking forward to some outcomes to share.

The Women in Motorsport committee is currently working with Autosport and hopefully some announcements in due course.

Praga cars held their awards ceremony at their Cheshire headquarters.  Myself and Dave Smithson were honoured to be invited to an excellent evening by our Ambassador Jack Fabby – with Romain Grosjean as their special guest.  We were there to represent the BMMC and the marshalling community.

Throughout the season Praga produced a series of videos recording their racing season including a visit to Brands Hatch.  This episode is dedicated to the memory of Robert Foote – https://pragaglobal.com/episode-7-orange-army/

They also commissioned a limited edition run of exclusive postcards – funds from which will be donated to BMMC.

Lastly a note of recognition of outstanding marshalling in the face of adversity.  Storm Arwen hit many areas not least the stages of the Roger Albert Clark rally.  Following events on Twitter from the comfort of my home it was clear that the organisers were battling horrendous conditions.  I have been made aware of some quite heroic efforts to move trees, recover vehicles and competitors, ensuring marshals were fuelled and had sufficient supplies before making their own way to shelter (which had no power!).  To then get up the following morning and go back to pull out more stranded vehicles and clear the stage of furniture.  Truly remarkable!

I hope you haven’t overspent this year and there’s a little left to renew your membership – anyone on direct debit will note their payment will be taken in the first week of January.

Finally I will take this opportunity to wish you and yours a very Happy Christmas and best wishes for a healthy New Year.

Chair Nadine’s November message – tick tock

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So the clocks have changed and the nights are drawing in – circuit racing calendars are nearing completion and rallying started in earnest last month with WRGB.  See and be seen out there!

Now is the time of year that our regional AGMs and social functions take place.  Your chance to have a say in the running of the club and get yourself nominated on to a committee.  SE AGM was at Brands Hatch and SM AGM was in the White Horse in Silverstone last month.  As well as attending both of these I am aiming to get to NW, MIDS, SW and BRMC – hopefully see you there!

Any gripes about race circuits should be put through the circuit representatives too – mostly BMMC members but check with your local committee if needed.

I missed the NE AGM at the weekend as I was attending Motorsport Days Live at Silverstone – a new concept (second year) aimed at wannabe track day drivers and racers: the chance to try out cars and attend talks on gaining sponsors and legal support.  We actually had quite a bit of interest from clubs, series and drivers who want to do a day marshalling – potentially more – and very supportive to ensure we don’t have any cancelled meetings next season!  Visits from our club ambassadors too as well as the winners of our ticket giveaway.  Next show will be Autosport in January.

And don’t forget the 62nd Annual General meeting of the British Motorsports Marshals’ Club Limited will take place at Jurys Inn, Midsummer Boulevard, Milton Keynes, MK9 2HP on Sunday December 1st 2019 at 15.00pm– every member welcome!

At this time of year we look to nominate people for our annual awards – our choices will be revealed at events, training days and social nights where appropriate after our National AGM.  We have also put forward each of our regional nominees to Motorsport UK for their annual award ceremony.  Let us know if you make their shortlist!!!

I am pleased to say that I have been invited back on to Marshals Advisory Group, Volunteer Officials Committee and Race Committee with Motorsport UK for 2020.  There will be some changes with new members on many committees but some people retained for handover purposes.  If your application was successful please let me know – if not please apply again next year as changes will happen every year for the next few years as the mix of members of each committee shifts.

And finally – renewals.  You will probably have received notification to renew your membership of Motorsport UK.  They like us to get in early so that we don’t get held up when all the drivers renew!  They should be sent out this month and valid for 2020.

Our own renewal process is not yet open for 2020 – many of our members take advantage of our direct debit scheme which is processed in early January.  All membership packs will be distributed early next year – so hang fire!  We will send out a reminder once the final quirks of our IT upgrade are ironed out.

One last note – Lille Racewear have advised that they will take final orders for Christmas delivery on 10th December. Any orders placed after that date will be delivered in January.

Classic Sports Car Club Sponsorship

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The BMMC is delighted to announce it has secured a further sponsorship deal ahead of the new season with Classic Sports Car Club (CSCC) that will help fund a further increase in the subsidy for members purchasing proban overalls.

The new deal comes into effect from the 1st April and will mean for the first time in the club’s history members ordering ready-made overalls will receive a 100% subsidy, while those ordering made to measure will receive an equivalent subsidy of £84.50 thanks to the support of CSCC.

Commenting on the new sponsorship deal and subsidy increase BMMC Chair Nadine Lewis said: “We are indebted to CSCC for their additional support which has allowed us to now be able to offer this further subsidy increase.

“It has always been the aim of the Club to be able to provide members with a 100% subsidy and it is thanks to all of our sponsors and especially CSCC that we have now reached that milestone.”

CSCC Director David Smitheram added: “We’re delighted that CSCC is able to provide this additional support to BMMC marshals and are confident this is the start of a positive medium to long term arrangement between the two clubs.

“This new sponsorship opportunity for CSCC underpins our commitment to supporting the men and women who work tirelessly week in week out in all weathers to help us race safely.”

The CSCC has also recently announced further support to marshals attending its meetings this season, with the introduction of a prize draw at every meeting in 2019 with an array of wonderful prizes, more details here www.classicsportscarclub.co.uk/marshals-officials

Brand Ambassadors Scheme Launched

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At its first meeting of 2019, the British Motorsport Marshals’ Club (BMMC) Council ratified the proposal of a Brand Ambassador scheme designed to invite well known figures with an interest or involvement with motorsports to support the great work done by BMMC marshals.

The role of Brand Ambassadors will be to help raise the profile of BMMC marshals while recognising and rewarding the thousands of hours put in every year by more than 2,400 volunteers in all weathers and conditions.

BMMC National Chairman Nadine Lewis said:

“We are looking for Brand Ambassadors who are passionate about our work and feel able to help develop greater awareness of what we do, help to develop a personality for our brand, support our recruitment plans and enthuse existing members.

“Our Brand Ambassadors will play a key role in helping to reinforce the dedicated, professional, committed but welcoming nature of our 2,400+ volunteers and the role we play in motorsport.

“The first wave of invitations have already started to land in inboxes across the country and the response so far has been overwhelming, further announcements of our first Brand Ambassadors will be announced in the run up to the start of the new season.”

Chairman Nadine’s March Message

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Our Council meeting in February was preceded by a Brand team afternoon with the Directors of the Club. We asked everyone to put their thinking caps on and broke in to smaller groups to discuss ideas – these discussions continued into the evening and the following morning. More specifics on this will follow soon… rally be ready is all I will say.

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BMMC finalise new Brand and Communications Team appointments

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At its first meeting of 2019, BMMC Council confirmed the appointment of Dave Smithson as Brand and Communications Officer, finalising the new Brand and Communications Team line up.

Supported by social media guru and author of the blog “A Life in Orange”, Rob Lee, and BMMC Midlands Region Shadow trophy winner 2018, Joe Watts, Dave and the Brand and Communications Team have been tasked to build and develop the BMMC brand and be responsible for all communications activity for the club.

BMMC National Chairman Nadine Lewis said: “We’re delighted to now have a team in place with a wide range of skills and experience and a clear set of priorities to take forward for the next 12 months and beyond.

“This is an exciting time in the development of the club and the team have an opportunity to drive forward the vision of Council members and reinforce the dedicated, professional, committed but welcoming nature of our 2,400+ volunteers and the role we play in motorsport.”

The team will be developing their plans for 2019 in the coming weeks and working closely with Regional Committees and communications teams to share best practice and will be creating a tool kit of resources to support their local communications activities.

All members are welcome to share their own thoughts and ideas and the team can be contacted by email via comms@marshals.co.uk

Sponsored overalls update

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The range of proban overalls available from Lille Racewear has been expanded to now also include smaller sizes for Cadet marshals and the option of a two-piece made to measure suit.

Full details are now available on Lille’s website here and we recommend you continue to order by telephone; ask for Anthony Bianco, director, and have your size measurements to hand.

Thanks to the support of all of our sponsors with effect from the 1st April – and for the first time in the club’s history – members ordering ready-made overalls will receive £84.50, a 100% subsidy including postage, while those ordering made to measure will be able to claim £84.50 towards the total cost of the order.

Please remember when submitting your subsidy claims to National Regalia Officer Eric Ridler you MUST include the delivery Invoice note with your claim. Online payment receipts will not be accepted and will delay your claim being processed.

Chairman Nadine’s February message

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We are already into February and the year seems to be racing away already!  But if you haven’t renewed your membership there is still time – easiest way is on line by logging on to our website (https://www.marshals.co.uk/membership/membership-renewal/)

Renewing before the end of March will enter you in to our annual Prize Draw for a Day at Bedford Autodrome courtesy of MSV.  And don’t forget our monthly prize draw to win an item of Teamwear.

We are working on more benefits for all of our members and will advise these as they become available.  

Don’t forget you can still benefit from reduced parking, fast track passes and lounge access at some airports using code BMMC2018.

As we have already advised AWS unfortunately has ceased trading – we thank Nick and all of his team for their unstinting support.  AWS have also helped us move to Lille workwear and they are almost up and running.  There will be some changes to the previous offering but we believe we have agreed a good deal and look forward to working with Lille going forward.

We mustn’t forget our all important sponsors who enable us to subsidise the cost of overalls and waterproofs.  NGK, MGCC, Tiga cars, Polyflor have been long term supporters – and we thank them for their continued support.  Cataclean have agreed their support this year and extended this to the winners of our National awards – we wish Dan Rowbottom all the best as he moves in to BTCC for 2019.

Our new sponsor Ginetta helped us with a fantastic launch at Autosport International last month and we thank them for their fabulous support.

I understand not everyone requires overalls and waterproofs but these benefits are for the vast majority of members.  However if there’s other kit that we should be looking to get sponsored let us know!

So I have “covered” membership, clothing and benefits but don’t forget we support your training, grading and volunteering too.  

Training season is upon us so get yourself signed up to attend – contact your local training officer.  Don’t forget to get your PRC signed!  Any questions or issues with grading contact your local grading officer.

Motorsport UK are updating resources on their website with their new logo. (https://www.motorsportuk.org/Resource-Centre/Marshals).  You will find useful documents here – these are in the process of being reviewed so changes may be forthcoming.  And we intend to link or put directly on our website where appropriate.

Finally it’s our first Council meeting of the year this weekend – we welcome new members to the group and look forward to bringing new ideas to improve the club going forward.  Why not make sure your ideas are heard?  Contact your local committee to offer assistance or ask for help.  Or please contact me directly – would love to hear what we can do to make our life in Orange better for all!

Best wishes
Nadine
BMMC National Chairman

BMMC Secure New Sponsors as Ginetta Sign New Deal for 2019

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The British Motorsports Marshals’ Club (BMMC) has announced a new major sponsor for 2019 with the news that Ginetta is the latest brand to support BMMC in a new deal that was revealed at the recent Autosport International show at the NEC in Birmingham.

BMMC National Chair Nadine Lewis welcomed the support of Ginetta and said: “The support of major sponsors underlines our commitment to working with major motorsport brands who value the work of our volunteer marshals and want to help support the club.

“We’re delighted to add Ginetta to that growing list of BMMC sponsors, as a major force in motor racing in the UK and one of the most renowned British heritage race car brands this new deal is an ideal match.

“Their backing will further help BMMC with the financial support that is vital to provide our 2,400 volunteer members with clothing and equipment they constantly need that is suitable for the job they do.”

Ginetta owner Lawrence Tomlinson added: “Motor sport relies on the dedication and professionalism of our marshals, they are respected the world over.  Personally, and on behalf of Ginetta, I’m delighted to sponsor BMMC to show our appreciation.”

2019 volunteering database

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The dates for 2019 are now available on the volunteering database – www.marshals.co.uk/volunteering

We have tried this year to get all dates verified by the relevant Chief marshals and the volunteering coordinators have added accordingly.  We hope they are all correct but please contact the relevant regional coordinator if you spot a potential error (they are human!)

Some Chiefs have requested individual emails every time someone volunteers – others have requested downloads at specific intervals before the event date itself.  For some events you need to contact the Chief marshal direct.

Please therefore ensure that you volunteer only once for an event.

Note:  you may not get a confirmation.  So please presume that your application is accepted.

You will receive your tickets / event information etc. approximately one week in advance.  If nothing heard by this point please contact the relevant volunteering coordinator who may be aware of delayed tickets etc. Or can advise you to contact the Chief marshal or club as necessary.  Don’t forget many of them are volunteers too!

And most importantly if you find you can’t attend then please cancel.  If past the close date then contact the Chief marshal directly – even a text on the day!

Happy volunteering and have a safe and fun 2019