x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Search for volunteers at Yas flagged off

A newly-formed UAE Motorsports Marshals Club has launched a drive to recruit volunteers for the season and November's Formula One grand prix at Yas Marina

The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix needs volunteers.
The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix needs volunteers.

The newly-formed UAE Motorsports Marshals Club has launched a drive to recruit volunteers for the new season and November's Formula One grand prix at the Yas Marina Circuit. Run under the jurisdiction of the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE (ATCUAE), the organisation will provide the volunteer marshals at the portfolio of motorsport events in the capital, which include the grand prix, Desert Challenge, V-8 Supercars, 24 Hours Touring Cars, National Race Days, motocross and karting.

The goal is to have more than 1,000 volunteers, preferably Emiratis, to ensure the events are sustainable. The role of the marshal is to act as the eyes and ears of race officials on the track, to report to race control and, in the case of flag marshals, to communicate with drivers. In return, they are given the chance to watch the feast of motorsport at close hand. "We have had a big percentage of Emirati involvement so far," Ronan Morgan, the sports projects director of the ATCUAE, said. "What we do want is more Emirati involvement because we want a very sustainable batch of dedicated volunteers. At the end of the day, the Emiratis will be living here for ever and all the expatriates will be returning. So to create a sustainable motorsport culture in the UAE, we would very much encourage the Emiratis to become a part of it."

Mohammed ben Sulayem, the ATCUAE president and vice president of the FIA, motor sport's world governing body, added: "Marshalling gives an opportunity to get seriously close to race action - a position money can't buy. "But it also requires a serious time commitment to training and attending race meetings, so we are looking for motivated and enthusiastic people who want to do something exciting, active and community-oriented."

To prepare the marshals for the challenge race days, two full-day training sessions have been scheduled for June 25 and July 2 at the Yas Marina Circuit. "It is challenging for sure, but also very rewarding and exciting to know that you are part of this big, new motorsports scene in the UAE," Morgan said. "Nobody should be daunted by the prospects if they are 18 years of age or older. They will be trained by our staff. We have proper trainers at our disposal here in the UAE to develop these people and make sure they know exactly what they need to do." Anyone interested should visit www.atcuae.ae, before June 18. @Email:arizvi@thenational.ae