24th December 2020
Dear Members of the Karting Australia family,
What an unforgettable year it has been – mainly for all the wrong reasons but also for some unexpected positives that emerged from the pandemic.
The way that the Karting Australia Family worked together, supported each other, and followed the lead that we as the National Body provided was inspiring. We went into 2020 full of hope and expectation that it would offer so much only to very quickly find that it would indeed be life changing and memorable but for all the wrong reasons.
I want to thank the hard workers at our affiliated Clubs and our Member States for putting in so much work to make sure that as soon as we could, we got karting going again in accordance with a very new set of rules, requirements and regulations that changed constantly as government policy changed.
I still recall the words that Steve Pegg – President of Eastern Lions said after the first weekend back on track – so many months ago. It went something like this:
“We all had a pretty sleepless night before our first day back. We didn’t know if we were ready and how our members would react. Not racing – just driving their karts. By the end of the first weekend back I can’t remember having seen so many happy and smiling faces at a kart track in years. I think that through this, people will fall back in love with our sport…”
In resounding fashion, you proved that Steve’s initial observations were spot on. The bounce back for the sport has been phenomenal – even allowing for the second very extended lockdown in Victoria.
Our Clubs have been amazing, most of them doing everything that they can, at every opportunity to keep you interested with organised karting activity – simply outstanding!
We now look forward to 2021.
November in South Australia and December in New South Wales (not to mention the rest of the world for many months) have given us very stark reminders that the return to normal will not be as we once knew it but will be that dreaded term “COVID Normal”.
Things will continue to be different and it will require us all to exhibit a new level of discipline in our everyday lives and in our karting activities.
In the 2021 Rules we have further simplified the rules surrounding organised social karting to make it easier on the hard-working club committees and on legal and insurance advice have included rules surrounding communicable diseases.
When the pandemic started, we challenged our younger members to step up and help. The most at risk members in our Clubs – many of the senior officials needed to be wrapped in cotton wool for a while. The response was phenomenal.
In April with the help of Damien Flack, we started the Karting Australia Officials Academy powered by Rosche Paper offering several online courses for current and would-be officials. At years end, we now have 20 course and instruction modules on-line, more than 700 people registered in the Academy and several hundred new Level 4 of higher Officials registered as a result of this initiative (oh, and several more course that are being written now and over the holidays.)
That is an amazing response, but we have only just started.
I think that the Southern Go Kart Club may have been the first with this idea, but I think that it is a simple and amazing challenge that will help all of our Clubs. I understand that they have set the objective to get all the adult members of their Club trained as Officials through the Academy and registered as a level 4 Official. The thought is catching on as I’ve now heard it in 3 more states.
If the Clubs get quarter or half the way there, they will never have an issue in running organised social karting activities again – fully insured and under the Rules.
2021 NEW YEARS RESOLUTION
If you’re thinking about a New Years Resolution (that you intend to keep) and aren’t already trained and licenced at a level 4 official or better, then why not decide to do the Core Courses in the Academy and get your Officials Licence – it won’t take you more an 1-2 hours and it will start to do amazing things for your Club.
Before we sign off for the year, I want you to know that the 2021 Manual will be uploaded to the website between Christmas and New Year. It will be solely an on-line publication next year. The summary of major changes has been uploaded and is available here and the fee schedule for 2021 remains unchanged from 2020.
Junior Sprockets will be back in 2021, Come and Try and Bring A Mate activities in the COVIDSafe environment are already back and able to be hosted by Clubs.
The whole Karting Australia community has worked incredibly hard in 2020. I am pleased and amazed at what has been achieved in the most difficult of years – thank you.
Thank you also to the Karting Australia Board and to my amazing staff, key officials and Member State Associations. Thank you for your support, for continuing to go over and above the position descriptions – particularly Lee Hanatschek. Lee and I both lost count of the hours committed and the number of advices to clubs and State Associations and members generally that we put out to help us all get through COVID.
We are in a much better position coming into 2021 than we would ever have dared to dream in mid-April of this year and during the second Victorian wave. It’s amazing what people can do when they pull together.
To you and your families from all of us at Karting Australia, have a Merry Christmas, a safe and enjoyable New Year and get ready to ‘do it all again’ bigger and better in 2021.