The Barbados Motoring Federation (BMF) earned praise for the island’s “very advanced motor sport environment” during a Regional Train the Trainers Course organised by world governing body, the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) in Panama City last month. More than 30 participants from 19 countries attended the two-day course (September 21/22), which focussed specifically on rally and hillclimb events and was presented by Regional Training Provider OMDAI FIA Mexico.
 Experienced senior officials Jeff Bovell and Kevin Chesney-Bynoe, Stage Commander and Deputy SC respectively, were selected to attend, in a move to increase the number of qualified trainers available in the island. And they will be applying their enhanced knowledge very soon at a Marshals Training Session on Saturday, October 19, the weekend before the Barbados Rally Club’s (BRC) Winter Rally.
 These Train the Trainers courses, of which the rally and hillclimb module is the first to roll out, marks the start of a new FIA initiative to standardise the content used in the training of officials worldwide across all the motor sport disciplines from basic to advanced levels; bringing the National Sporting Authorities (ASNs) from across the Americas together also encouraged the sharing of best practice. BMF Vice-President Mark Hamilton said: “During the de-brief which rounded off the weekend, Barbados was recognised as a very advanced motor sport environment, second only to Mexico, which of course hosts a round of the World Rally Championship.
 “Jeff and Kevin carried some of our Sol Rally Barbados material with them, the 2019 Post-event Review and our spectator hand-outs, which seem to have impressed other delegates, who were surprised at the level at which our motor sport operates. Both said that they had not only gained valuable reinforcement of their previous training, but also learned additional information to enhance their performance going forward. Both are looking forward to sharing that knowledge at our forthcoming training session.”
 The BRC’s Winter Rally on Sunday, October 27, is the first event to fall within the Club’s Marshal Exchange Incentive Programme, which is being sponsored by Chefette Restaurants. In an innovative exchange programme, three Bajan marshals will travel to the 2020 edition of the closed-road Rali Bae Ceredigion in Wales, with Welsh marshals attending Sol Rally Barbados 2020. One marshal from each of the Club’s three teams of volunteers will be selected by the team leaders, the decision based on a number of criteria, including attendance at all of the BRC’s major events between now and July 2020 and each marshal’s performance.
 The Marshal Registration and Training Session will be held at Sky Mall, Haggatt Hall, at 6.00pm on Saturday, October 19, with the training primarily focussed on communication, incident handling and general safety; flyers promoting the event will this week be distributed through the media, digital platforms and the UWI as motor sport seeks to increase its volunteer base. Hamilton added: “The island’s body of motor sport marshals has a solid core of enthusiastic and committed volunteers, some of whom have served the sport for 30 or more years. That said, we are conscious of the need to attract new recruits, so have been working to put a framework in place that would encourage some of the island’s thousands of fans to consider getting closer to the action and contributing the sustaining the sport at the same time.”