|Volunteers in Motorsport represents the first ever centrally co-ordinated activity to address the issues of recruitment, retention, training and development among the essential motor sport volunteer community.
It is the first sporting initiative to secure government funding, securing £150,000 from the Motorsport Development Board, supported by matched funding from the MSA`s Motor Sports Training Trust.
Volunteers in Motorsport will cover four key areas: a recruitment campaign to increase numbers across the sport; a retention strategy to recognise experience, increase motivation and reduce further decline; a national programme to provide relevant, structured and professional training that is accessible to all; and a framework for schemes that recognise personal development and simplify the process of cross-discipline participation. Running parallel to this, the MSA will be looking at marshals` welfare, such as the provision of better facilities, in order to improve the environment for volunteers.
"The thousands of volunteers are absolutely essential to our sport," said Colin Hilton, MSA Chief Executive, on the central Autosport stage on Thursday afternoon. "Volunteers in Motorsport represents the first concerted effort to address the very serious issue of declining numbers among this dedicated band of people, both in terms of recruitment and retention."
"We are really excited to get this programme up and running," said Sue Sanders-Peppitt who is co-ordinating Volunteers in Motorsport for the MSA. "We have already seen a lot of interest on the stand today from both existing and potential marshals and also marshalling clubs who can see how this will benefit them. I hope that this scheme not only attracts new people to come and join the ranks, but also reinvigorates those already involved."
A new leaflet outlining the Volunteers in Motorsport programme can be found on the MSA stand throughout this weekend`s show.