|Reynolds was honoured by the sport`s national governing body in recognition of his many years of unstinting service to the sport in the UK and in particular his enormous contribution to the cause of participation by disabled people in all areas of the sport over the past decade.
The Prince Michael Award of Merit is one of the Motor Sports Association`s most prestigious individual awards and, although the Motor Sports Council (the sporting commission of the Motor Sports Association) has the power to make this award annually to a maximum of two recipients, it is only given out in circumstances judged to warrant the requirement of `meritorious service to British motor sport`.
The award was presented at the Motor Sports Council`s annual dinner by Tim Keown, Chairman of the Royal Automobile Club, on behalf of HRH Prince Michael of Kent. Reynolds, 62 and from Aldershot in Hampshire, began his involvement in motor sport at an early age, attending race meetings at Crystal Palace and Brands Hatch in the 1950s before competing in motorcycle racing in the early 1960s. Despite a racing accident in 1962, Tony
continued to be closely involved in motor sport as an official, primarily in rallying.
In the late 70s Reynolds co-founded the Hart Motor Club becoming its chairman for three years in the late 80s. In 1989 he was a founder member of the British Motor Sports Association for the Disabled, the organisation created to promote and assist the participation of fellow disabled people, both as competitors and officials in all branches of the sport.
Reynolds played a large part in liaising with the Motor Sports Association and the world governing body, the Federation Internationale d`Automobile (FIA), to adapt their practices and regulations to accommodate the needs of the disabled in motor sport. This included helping to form an assessment procedure for disabled competitors and assisting the MSA and FIA to manage the inclusion of diabetics in the sport. He became chairman of the BMSAD in 1993 and has been its president since 1999.
Reynolds maintains his active involvement in grass roots motor sport as the Motor Sports Association Route Liaison Officer for rallying in Hampshire and is a qualified radio operator on road and stage rallies. Tony can still be found most weekends of the year at events in different parts of the UK pursuing the needs of disabled and all club competitors.
"I`m delighted to accept this award because I feel very much that is an award for the team that helped establish the regulations for disabled people in motor sport," said Tony. "It is a measure of what we have achieved that disabled competitors in UK motor sport hold the same kind of licence as all other competitors - the sport has adapted to their needs."
Editors` note: The terms of the Prince Michael Award of Merit are well-defined and strictly adhered to in considering nominations. The qualification of `meritorious service` encompasses the following definitions: distinguished services or significant contribution to British motor sport; outstanding achievement in British motor sports; a conspicuous or exemplary act of bravery or courage or heroism while competing in or officiating at a British motor sport event. People who are ineligible to receive the award are: current members of the Motor Sports Council; directors and staff of the Royal Automobile Club; directors and staff of the Motor Sports Association; and those who earn or have earned their living principally through motor sports.
The previous winners of the Prince Michael Award of Merit are:
1991 Jack Romain
1992 Tony Bird
1993 Peter Cooper; Tony Fletcher
1994 John Felix; George Hall
1995 Brian Molyneux
1996 Tom Dooley; Dick Newsum
1997 Alec Rivers Fletcher; Donald Grieve
1998 Michael Fenwick; Keith Douglas
1999 No award
2000 Bob Rae
2001 No award
Photography: Images of Tony Reynolds being presented with the Prince Michael
Award of Merit will be available on request.
Release MSA 03/05: 06 February, 2003
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