Welcome to a new year of motorcycling and I hope you are all looking forward to your involvement in the sport with anticipation and excitement.
As noted in the Chair, Jim Feehely’s article, 2015 was a year of achievement on all levels for the sport here in Queensland, but as always there is room for improvement. That improvement though does not just sit with the MQ Board and staff, it requires all levels of the sport to strive to improve the sport for all concerned. It is only through this sort of approach to our sport can we achieve the outcomes desired and required.
Respect in the sport
One area I would like to see all in this sport focus on in 2016 is that of respect. Respect for fellow competitors (no matter age), officials, club committees, volunteers and any other individual that works to make this sport happen. All too often we are quick to blame others for our shortcomings or failings. If we all take responsibility for our role in this sport we can achieve greater cohesion and co-operation, which in turns strengthens the base of our sport.
This sport is conducted and managed for all, not for a particular rider or parent as some out there may seem to think. No one is singled out unless they wish to exhibit conduct that brings them to the attention of officials or administrators. Please be very aware this year, if individuals want to persist in inappropriate conduct they will be dealt with and they have no one to blame other than themselves for the consequences.
Club Management and Governance
Another area I think this sport can benefit from is improved club management and governance. Throughout 2015 the most frequent concerns raised to me related to club committees not managing the club in the correct manner, not meeting legal compliance obligations and just ignoring the law as outlined in the Associations Incorporation Act 1981 Qld, as it relates to clubs incorporated in this State.
Whether individuals like it or not, there is a standard club committees of management must adhere to in relation to their fiduciary obligations to their club and its membership. These obligations related to the conduct of appropriate committee of management meetings, financial management, AGM’s, elections and the list goes on. MQ has placed a number of documents on its website in the clubs section to assist clubs in this process. Please read these documents and if you are still unclear, contact the MQ office and seek clarification on what is expected of you.
Members of the committee of management are there to work in the best interests of the club and its members, not to run a personal agenda of their own. If we have strong, well managed clubs, we will have a strong, vibrant, well supported sport that can meet the many and varied interests of its members.
Electronic Timing & online tools
2016 will continue to see an increase in electronic timing and the increased use of online tools such as Ridernet that will also be expanded to assist with event management and events, apart from the licencing component that has now been in place for over 6 months. The will also be an upgrade to the Club Manual to include additional operational matters and an events component. This also will be an electronic document distributed to clubs accordingly, allowing for easy reference and future updating.
Ongoing improvements in officials and coach education are also expected throughout 2016 as Motorcycling Australia completes reviews and upgrades in the respective curriculums. These will also be supported one hopes in the consolidation of other MA programs aimed at creating pathways through our sport as well as increasing female participation across all our disciplines.
Junior development clearly should not be forgotten. Any sport is only as strong as its junior development programs, as juniors are the future of the sport and I would encourage all clubs to look at establishing strong ongoing programs aimed at junior participation in our sport.
One program that I must note and encourage wholeheartedly, is the Nambour indigenous program that has grown in leaps and bounds over the last 6 or so months. This program has sprung up through the efforts of Violet Jones and Brian Cordwell and I would encourage all concerned, especially potential sponsors, to assist the amazing efforts of these individuals and the riders involved.
This will also be my last article as I advised the MQ Board in December of my intention to resign. Sport has been my passion and profession for over 30 years now and I consider myself very lucky to have been able to end that profession here at motorcycling. My time with this sport has been very positive and enjoyable and I cannot thank the MQ Board, staff and all of you that go to making up this sport enough for the opportunity to work as the sport’s General Manager.
You have a great sport, embrace it and continue to support it with passion and enthusiasm.
On that note, I encourage all to involve themselves in this sport in a way that not only contributes to the sport growth and development, but also in a manner that allows them to gain from this sport what they seek as a member, whether that be as a rider, official, coach, administrator or volunteer. All are equally important in making this sport happen.
Have an amazing 2016 both on and off the motorcycling track. Thank you.