Autosport International, NEC, 15 January 2010: The Racing Steps Foundation (RSF) – a unique organisation that helps talented young British racing drivers realise their dreams – has committed substantial support for the Motor Sports Association’s (MSA) newly unveiled Academy programme for young British competition drivers.
The MSA established the Academy framework to guide drivers from as young as eight years old through to World Championship level. The Academy provides a career path that not only develops a driver’s performance, but also looks to safeguard their educational progression alongside their on-track activity through initiatives such as the Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence.
The RSF’s backing enables the MSA Academy substantially to increase the reach of its existing educational programme to deliver benefit to all of the 2,000 competition licence holders aged under 17.
Among the additional activity to be undertaken by the MSA will be the delivery of a series of training workshops to competitors registered for the major junior championships. The free of charge workshops will be delivered at events and will introduce young drivers and their parents to some of the fundamental elements of human performance, including diet and nutrition, career planning, personal fitness and how to create ‘TeamYou’.
The MSA will also deliver direct communications to all young competitors outlining the importance of maintaining their education while competing and making clear the options that exist within the Academy structure.
The MSA and RSF are also committed to helping a small number of deserving students onto a University Degree course in motor sport and are looking to establish a partnership with a selected institution to cover tuition fees and a contribution towards living expenses.
As part of an initial three-year commitment, the MSA will work closely with the RSF to create initiatives to further the educational reach within British motor sport and to provide young drivers with more help and guidance in the early stages of their career.
Graham Sharp, Founder of the RSF, said:
“The MSA has shown itself to be very forward thinking in the creation of its Academy structure and while the Foundation is firmly committed to fully funding our team of elite drivers, we recognise that through the MSA Academy we can extend the reach and the message to a much greater number of young competitors. Derek Walters and his RSF team are very excited to be working closely with Britain’s governing body and hope to be able to make a real difference to their existing activity.”
Colin Hilton, MSA Chief Executive, said:
“The MSA Academy was created at the end of last year under the guidance of MSA Performance Director Robert Reid to develop future world champions and to educate their peers. We are delighted that the RSF has recognised the potential of the structure we have created and, with their support and commitment, I am sure that we will be able to make greater progress with the young drivers in this country.”
Robert Reid, MSA Performance Director, said:
“The MSA is spending in excess of £1m a year on the development of the sport, but there is always more that can be done. Thanks to the RSF’s support, we will be able to extend the reach of the MSA Academy and deliver greater benefit to all young drivers in this country.”
The Motor Sports Association – www.msauk.org
The Motor Sports Association (MSA) is the national governing body for four-wheel motor sport in the UK, responsible for the regulation and administration of the sport. The MSA is a member of the world governing body, the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) and holds a seat on the World Motor Sport Council. The MSA represents 33,000 licence holders, 15,000 volunteer marshals and officials, more than 750 member clubs and issues permits for 5,000 motor sport events every year.
In recent years the MSA has expanded its remit to cover the development of the sport and currently invests in excess of £1m a year in the three elements of its Whole Sport Plan. ‘Grow’ targets an increase in participation levels, ‘Sustain’ invests in the infrastructure of the sport, its clubs and its people, and ‘Excel’ focuses on training future world champions and educating their peers.
Racing Steps Foundation - www.racingsteps.com
The Racing Steps Foundation is a unique initiative established to help young motor racing and motor cycling hopefuls to fulfil their dreams of succeeding perhaps to the highest level of all, the FIA Formula 1 Grand Prix Championship/MotoGP. Specifically, the RSF exists to help those young British racers whose talent might not be realised due to lack of funds. 2010 is the third year of operation for the not-for-profit, privately funded, RSF initiative.
With the RSF ambassador John Surtees OBE, karting ‘guru’ Martin Hines and its partner teams, the RSF selects candidates for the programme on an objective, performance-related basis working with the RSF’s management administration headed by Derek Walters of Worldsport Management Ltd.
RSF beneficiaries 2010: on four wheels, Oliver Turvey, James Calado, Jack Harvey and Jake Dennis. For the first time in 2010, two wheel beneficiaries are Wayne Ryan and Fraser Rogers.