Russell Miller 

The Road to Becoming a KartSport Official

Approximately 4 and a bit years ago I was invited by a mate to go and view the kart racing at the KartSport Nelson Club. Having no interest and never having set foot in a kart of any description I must say I was astounded at the set up and the racing by all age groups. Asked if I would come out again my short answer was yes and if they required any help just ask me.

Asked if I would operate the Out gate I agreed and continued doing this at Club meetings for some 6 months or so.

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I was then asked if I would consider training to become a KartSport New Zealand Race Official. With a background in law enforcement, which I thought would be a good advantage, I readily agreed.

The Club nominated me to KartSport New Zealand and I started the process of training to become a Grade 4 Race Official. I completed the required on-line modules for this grade and was given the opportunity of attending the  South Island Sprint Championships in Christchurch as an observer and gain further experience. I also officiated at Club level under the tutelage of  Grade 1 and Grade 2  Race Officials and they were a great help to me explaining rules and regulations. After 12 months training at Club level I was promoted to a Grade 4.

While still only able to officiate at Club level I was given several opportunities by KartSport New Zealand to attend other larger meetings to gain further valuable experience. After completing further modules and the Machine Examiners module for Grade 3 and gaining this experience and having my logbook signed off by various officials for some 12 months plus I was promoted to Grade 3.

Training now became more intense as I could now officiate as Clerk of Course, Chief Steward and do the full job which I must say was rather daunting at first. However with the backup from Race Officials and KartSport New Zealand  I was given many opportunities to gain further experience at bigger meetings and gain valuable knowledge on how to be a good Official. At this level you deal with the guardians, competitors and all that goes with racing.

I have been given the chance to officiate at several rounds of the NZRMC, the last two as Assistant COC which I found quite stimulating.

I have several Clubs to thank for giving me the opportunities to officiate at their venues ie Nelson, Canterbury, Marlborough, Dunedin, Southland, Wellington, Hamilton, Manawatu and Bay of Plenty.  

As a result of this training and experience I have recently been upgraded to Grade 2.

This going from being completely ignorant re KartSport racing to what I have become now has been an invigorating journey with a lot of great help from several people including: Pete Fitzgibbon, Brian Lotter, Wayne Croft, Graham Knight, Wayne Sanders. Just a few of the Officials who have imparted valuable knowledge to me and for those I have worked with but not mentioned I apologise.

As for the Training Team of Sue Sanders and KartSport Competitions Manager Warwick Parkes, if it wasn't for the guidance and opportunities given to me by them the journey would have been a lot longer and harder.

KartSport New Zealand and its training budget have also played a large part in this as without them this would have been a lot more difficult.

However after saying all this you do have to motivate yourself and I have done this by making myself available at any time as I am retired, to go anywhere in the country to assist any Club that finds themselves short of Officials. This offer still stands.

Being an Official can be extremely rewarding and I would implore ex racers and those interested in becoming an Official to contact myself, Warwick or Sue

Not having enough Officials at an event is detrimental to the competitors so yes, we do need you. Please think about it seriously. KartSport New Zealand will support you all the way.

CAPTION: Russell (right) on track at a recent event. Photo credit: Chris Hogan - Manic Photography 

Big thanks to Russell Miller for submitting this article.

KartSport New Zealand