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National Governing Bodies for Motorsport in the UK

Interesting read regarding the only two National Governing Bodies for motorsport recognised by statue and the UK and devolved Governments which are the Auto Cycle Union (Two Wheels) and Motorsport UK (Four Wheels).

Read more below…

 General 

As the Roadmap announced by the Prime Minister on 22nd February takes shape, a febrile approach to the planning of motorsport events around the country is now underway for Organised Sport (only) events to commence (in England) from 29th March. 

National Governing Bodies for Motorsport in the UK 

You may already be aware that the two National Governing Bodies for motorsport recognised by statute and the UK and devolved Governments are: Motorsport UK, the governing body for four wheeled motorsport and the Auto-Cycle Union (ACU), the governing body for motorcycle sport. 

Both organisations represent UK motorsport interests on a global basis and have a voice of influence on the world stage, being founder members of and recognised as the respective national sporting authorities by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA – the world governing body for motorsport) and FIA-CIK for kart racing and the Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme, (FIM) the world governing body for motorcycle sport and leisure. 

The UK NGBs have been influential in the creation of COVID-19  secure sport protocols generally and with DCMS and all devolved Government engagement for their respective Organised Sports permitted in varying degrees to continue internationally and in limited cases nationally for competition and training during the pandemic, as evidenced by our authority to issue letters of exemption relating to quarantine obligations in connection with specified events. 

 Assurance 

For peace of mind, we write to assure all UK Local Authorities that all motorsport events held under the auspices of Motorsport UK or the ACU must be the subject of Permits. The NGBs have DCMS and devolved Government approved COVID-19 protocols that have regulatory force including in relation to venues. 

The Organisers of the events are required to produce detailed regulations to the relevant NGB outlining how the event will be organised and when submitting those regulations the Organiser is required to provide a comprehensive COVID-19 Risk Assessment describing the control measures that will be in place to mitigate the risk of infection and also to confirm that a COVID-19 Officer and Medical Officer is appointed to each event. Only when the relevant governing body is content with the paperwork produced, a permit is issued under the auspices of The Motor Vehicles (Off Road Events) Regulations 1995 in which both Motorsport UK and the ACU are named parties who have delegated authority from the Department of Transport to issue such a permit which gives the event exemption from Section 13A of the Road Traffic Act 1988.

It is also important to note that each Organiser is required by the respective Governing Body that they must consult and liaise with their Local Authority (including HSE) and local police force, ambulance and NHS so that all relevant parties are aware that a motorsport event is being planned in their area over a specified period. 

Perception 

Positive public perception of motorsport in all its’ forms is important to ensure cooperation and future growth including EDI initiatives. As such both Motorsports UK and the ACU do not want to place an additional burden on public health resources whilst we restart our sports following the third national lockdown. 

Before the COVID-19 outbreak, because of the nature of motorsport, there was always a limited risk of burden on public health resources and in light of COVID-19, Event Organisers are informed they must contact local public health resources to inform them of an event planned to take place and cooperate with the public health resources accordingly, hence the appointment of COVID-19 Medical Officers to events and being supplemental to the Chief Medical Officers of each organisation. 

Insurance 

All permitted events are covered by a range of insurance policies arranged by both Motorsport UK and the ACU. Motorsport UK has £100 million public liability cover and the ACU has £40 million public liability cover. Both organisations have an extensive range of covers to ensure maximum coverage for organisers, promoters, sponsors, competitors, officials, spectators and property. The respective insurers are satisfied with the applicable COVID-19 protocols and insure accordingly. 

Other Organisations 

Regrettably, there are other organisations, not recognised or authorised by statute, that organise motorsport and whose standards (and arguably morals) do not match those of ACU and Motorsport UK. We would urge Local Authorities to take heed of this and ensure that those organisations have in place the extensive protocols to equivalent standards that closely resemble what we have outlined in this letter or the Local Authority do not allow the event to take place. 

Of note, the unauthorised and unregulated entities cannot by law fall under the definition of Organised Sport. There have been instances during the three national lockdowns where non-NGB Organisations have allowed motorsport events to take place despite the clear advice and guidance issued by the UK Government which has also been available on the GOV.UK website and as such may be in a situation whereby any policy of insurance they may have is voidable or even void and which might place Local Authorities in a predicament. 

Contact with Motorsport UK and the Auto-Cycle Union Ltd 

Should you require any further information please contact the following; 

Motorsport UK; Dan Carter, Safety Executive (dan.carter@motorsportuk.org) 

Auto-Cycle Union Ltd; Gary Thompson MBE BEM, Director for Safety (gary@acu.org.uk). 

Photo Credit – MXGB

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