THE Jamaica Millennium Motoring Club (JMMC), the island's Fédération Internationale de L'Automobile (FIA)-sanctioned authority, held an international officials safety training workshop at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston, St Andrew on Saturday.
The occasion was made possible by a grant of US$42,000 from the world's governing motorsports body, the FIA.
"The aim is train the support staff who help to run an event, [a fact] which many people may not recognise," Marcia Dawes, project manager and national coordinator of the women in motorsports commission, told Auto.
Conducting the workshop was Allan Dean-Lewis, director of training and education at the Motor Sports Association, the national governing
body of United Kingdom motorsport.
"The image of motorsports is that of the World Rally Championship and Formula One, but the large majority of it are club-level events run by volunteers. The FIA recognises that and wants to support local motorsports wherever it's happening and raise standards," said Dean-Lewis.
The programme was started in 2008 by the FIA in order to improve both safety and officiating worldwide. Since then, it has been implemented in over 30 different countries through the five regional training partners including the UK and more recently Mexico. His initial visit is to make a training needs assessments and then return in a few months with a team to host more focused training events.
According to Dawes, the training is aimed at race directors, scrutineers, stewards, and marshals with the goal of increasing the competency of such persons in various roles. Forty-five trainees will be drawn from the various JMMC-affiliate organisations, like the Jamaica Race Drivers Club and Jamaica Karting Association, in order to meet the targets of 15 race directors, 15 event stewards, five scrutineers/technical inspectors and 10 marshals.
Dean-Lewis sees the training going beyond motorsports and being used to enhance team leadership and management skills.
"The enthusiasm for the sport is magical in Jamaica. There's a fantastic community that is willing to effect change for the better," he said.