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SYDNEY OFF ROAD RACING ASSOCIATION'S COME & TRY DAY FOR YOUNG DRIVERS

Come &Try Young DriversDriver Training and Khanacross have become a regular feature on SORRA Club’s calendar although we are mainly an Off Road Club.  It was decided in 2013 that since we had several young club members between the ages of 10 and 14 that we would develop a program to train young people to drive and conduct Khanacross for those who had reached the age of 12, to allow them to compete and improve their driving skills in a controlled environment.  It is also a fun event for their parents to take part without the huge price tag of other competitive motor sport disciplines.

To continue to grow this part of our club activities it was decided to incorporate a Come and Try Day with our regular Driver Training and Khanacross.  This attracted a few families and we had three adults, and four juniors join us to “Come and Try”.

As one our rules for Juniors, is that they must participate in Driver Training, the four juniors joined the other eight regular juniors in Driver Training.  They were given a lecture on general behaviour and safety, and some simple road rules were explained to them.  Question and answer being a feature of this lecture.  Then it was time to “try” the cars.  All those who had never attempted to drive before, were directed to the club’s two automatic cars and the fun began.  Each junior had to have an instructor (not Mum or Dad) with them and instruction began with ensuring the car was right to go, i.e. tyres, windscreen & rear vision clean, fuel, adjust mirrors, seat and seatbelts before they were allowed to start the cars.  Then they took part in simple tests, starting with driving from one point to another and stopping within a “gate”.  As the morning wore on the tests increased in difficulty with bends being added.  The more advanced group worked in another area on reversing into a “garage” and reverse parking using manual cars.

Then after lunch the Khanacross was under way.  As three of our regular juniors are not yet old enough to participate they formed the cheer squad to encourage the rest of the juniors.  Four tests were covered in the afternoon and evening starting with simple short tests and increasing to longer and more complex tests. All participants did a reconnaissance of each test as a group before attempting the test. No times were recorded as this was a “Come and Try” event but they all concentrated on trying to complete the tests without getting any penalties.  Not so easy as at least two of the adults found out, when they did not pull up wholly within the “garage”. Our regular juniors showed the way by not receiving any penalties in all four tests, and were heard explaining to the “Come and Try” people that it was not about being the fastest but completing the tests as quickly as possible without getting any penalties, and that smooth driving was what you had to aim for.  We can only hope this is a lesson they will keep for life.

One of the adults asked how he could go about becoming an official so that he could help organise events like this in the future.  Information was given to him and he has since started on his training.

A great day enjoyed by officials and competitors and we hope more people will join us next time.