Motorsport UK celebrates UK Volunteers’ Week

Friday 02 June 2023

Motorsport UK celebrates UK Volunteers’ Week

Volunteers are at the heart of all Motorsport UK activities. From pits and paddock to trackside, they do everything from essential administrative work to providing life-saving safety cover. Without them, motorsport simply would not happen.

There’s never enough praise we can give to our volunteers, but the annual UK Volunteers’ Week (1-7 June) is yet another chance for us to recognise, and promote, the crucial contribution they make to the sport we love.

Supported and celebrated by small grassroots organisations as well as larger charities, hundreds of activities are run across the UK during Volunteers’ Week to showcase the hard work of these volunteers and how they can inspire, and encourage, others to get involved.

16.3 million people volunteered through a group, club or organisation in 2020/21, and Motorsport UK is proud to have a strong army of marshals, scrutineers, stewards, timekeepers and other essential personnel who give up their valuable spare time over the many event weekends throughout a season.

There’s always the need for more people to come along and get involved, whether directly through Motorsport UK or one of the many national motor clubs. Click here to find out how you can get started!

To celebrate the start of Volunteers’ Week, we spoke to James Betchley, Officials Pathway Manager at Motorsport UK.

What do you do at Motorsport UK?

I’m the Officials Pathway Manager at Motorsport UK. I’m responsible for the learning, development and training of all our volunteer officials and the recruitment campaigns that go along with it.

Why should someone volunteer?

Volunteering is a fantastic way to get involved in motorsport. You get right in the heart of the action – you get to interact with the drivers, get closer to the actual track action itself (in a safe way) and you can make great new friends, being part of a fantastic community. You can also learn amazing new skills that you can transfer into your personal life and career.

What roles are available?

There are lots of different roles available in motorsport! Scrutineering involves inspecting vehicles and making sure they’re safe for competition. Stewarding focuses on safety matters and handing out judicial decisions. Clerking (being Clerk of the Course) involves running the event and being responsible for the organisation of the event itself. There’s also rescue and recovery, which involves extricating drivers and providing emergency first aid care, and marshalling. This is a fantastic way to get involved in the sport and really get up close and personal with the action.

How can I get started?

If you’re interested in getting involved in motorsport, firstly head to the Motorsport UK website, go to the ‘Get Started’ section and you’ll find lots of information there. Then, your next step is to start going out to some events! Find your local motor club, ask how you can get involved and see what you can do! 

You can also access the Learning Hub via the Motorsport UK website. Here, you’ll find lots of introductory modules where you can learn the basics of becoming a marshal, what the role is all about, and also find out more about other officials’ roles as well.

What did you do before joining Motorsport UK?

I used to be a trainee firefighter so, since I’ve been working for Motorsport UK, I’ve actually started volunteering with a rescue crew, on a rescue unit, and it’s a fantastic way for me to use those skills I learned outside of the sport and bring them into motorsport – helping it be a safer place for everyone.

How important are volunteers?

All volunteers are crucial to the safe, fair and fun running of the sport. If we didn’t have volunteers, no events would take place in the first place, so they are crucial to everything we do!