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The Second Best Seat in the House!

VIC Officials Expo 1Today Sandown Raceway played host to the 2015 CAMS Victorian Officials Training Expo. Over the course of the day all attendees were exposed to training in the vital components of being a CAMS Accredited Official.

Comprising of several guest speakers and learning modules the expo was a great opportunity to keep up to date with everything from medical, fire training and officiating skills in all racing disciplines.    

In attendance was David Mori who is CAMS’ Manager for Training and Officials. Coming from officiating in circuit discipline predominantly, this is his 29th year as a volunteer official, so the benefit of him being the manager of officials is that when he gets a query or issue he has an understanding of what they are going through and the challenges they are facing.

“Its important for officials from all disciplines to attend events like this. What it does is it gives every official irrespective of their licence level the opportunity to see what other disciplines in the sport do.

“Giving everyone a holistic understanding of what everyone else in the sport is going through, their challenges, their expectations, policies, procedures and protocols, they then take that back to their officiating position trackside.” Said Mori

“It’s a great way of upskilling, it’s a great way of networking with other disciplines, other officials, it would be great to see our remote clubs with their licenced officials turning up to these events and again they can take that knowledge and experience back to their clubs and help them grow.

“I think it’s a really important part of an official’s growth, a club’s growth and motor sport officiatings growth as well.”

According to Mori, CAMS has been identifying the different target age groups in it’s recruitment strategy, and subsequently which age group is going to give the longest service,

“We are trying to develop strategies for our younger age group, how we can capture them early on in life and what we need to do to make them want to come back. So currently there are different strategies like the development of the YO (Young Officials) program to make it a membership category.

“Trying to expand that into a gain category for individuals who aren’t officials yet, the F1 in Schools Program is targeting Year 8-12 trying to get them involved. Just trying to get the name out there, the CAMS brand out there and what we do as officials out there.”

Mori also shared his views on the benefits of being an official,    

“First and foremost is being part of the officials family. It used to be a national family and now it has grown into an international family. Networking opportunities, future career opportunities just by being exposed to this group of people and I suppose one of the best things an individual gets from officiating is the experience as a volunteer by giving back to the community and back to a sport that obviously generates a massive income in Australia.

“Not to mention getting close to the action, it’s the best seat in the house!”

Mark Thompson is the Training Officer for the Victorian Flag Marshall’s Association. Having started the expo in 2014 with the assistance of CAMS, Team Medical and the Fire Team, the association sees the value in developing the skill sets of our officials, and also encourages participation in the world of flag marshalling and beyond.  

“Well we feel that putting on an expo like this is not only important to the flag marshalling community, but all the denominations throughout the motor sport community. The integration of all the denominations is very important, particularly when we get trackside we have a firm understanding of all the different ways that people operate and that makes a much smoother operation on race day.”

According to Thompson the Victorian Flag Marshalling Team has a firm policy of encouraging participation,

“There are a lot of motor sport enthusiasts out there, but to get people involved trackside, the way we put it is that it’s the second best seat in the house next to being a driver. How good is it when you are trackside hearing the roars of the cars going by. You have got Communicators, the Clerk of Course, the Medics, the ‘Firies’ all there working like a well oiled wheel. We encourage people to come along and have a go and feel the vibrations of the thunderous cars going by.”

For more information on getting involved visit the ‘Become a CAMS Official’ page on our website HERE