There has been considerable debate on Facebook over the past week regarding suggested rule changes within the trialling world. What is clear from a lot of the comments is that there is a complete misunderstanding of how the ACTC operates and who creates the rules by which competitors should abide. I shall attempt therefore to clarify a few points.
First, who or what is the ACTC? The clue should be in its very name, “The Association of Classic Trials Clubs”. In other words, the organisation is an amalgamation of numerous motorsport clubs who have chosen to combine and create a single entity to provide support and governance to the classic trials world. A list of these clubs can be found on the ACTC website and I suspect most who are reading this information will be a member of at least one of them.
The ACTC then has a number of volunteers who sit on the council in order to ensure certain required functions are carried out and these are not limited to, but include:
• Overall governance of the classic trials sport
• Ensuring the classic trials community has a voice with the MSA
• Fighting for Rights of Way issues
• Running a national trials championship
• Providing a quarterly publication with up-to-date details on the events and championship
• Maintaining a website to give instant access to information and details on events
• Ensuring members receive regulations on events the member clubs are running
• Putting on an annual awards and dinner evening
• Monitoring championship events and providing guidance back to the clubs
• Ensuring there are twice yearly meeting of the clubs in order to air and discuss all current topics affecting the trialling world
• Accounting for the finances and costs associated with running the organisation
• Maintaining various documentation essential to the sport, such as the rules and regulations for clubs and competitors
What the council don’t do which seems to be the most common perception, is to create new technical rules. Yes there is a sub committee, which looks at the technical aspects of the cars and consider any suggested changes, or matters raised by a club or competitor who is unsure if what they are hoping to do is within the rules (or who feel someone else has overstepped the mark), but changes to rules aren’t unilaterally made by those who make-up this committee.
So if the council aren’t making the rules and the technical committee are only making proposals, who ultimately decides what is and isn’t allowable?
That answer is simple, it is the members of the clubs. In other words, providing you are a member of a club, it is you who makes the rules. But, and theres is a big but, YOU, only make the rules if you get involved and let your club know what your thoughts are on the issue.
There are of course numerous requirements that we all have to abide by which are determined by the MSA, but anything outside of this, such as what tyres can be used, what engines are suitable, what modifications to the cars allowed in Class 7 etc. etc. get proposed by the clubs (after consultation with its members) and then debated in an open forum.
As the club delegate is representing the club, they should therefore be representing the members of which you should be one.
Once debated, all the clubs have a vote and as in any democracy, the majority decision is final.
Now, there is one big flaw in this methodology and I shall be blunt in stating it. It only works if the club members voice their views through their delegates at the meetings!
Too many club members and competitors are happy to bemoan changes they don’t like and get on forums claiming they are hard done by, or that the “ACTC “ hadn’t consulted with them directly and life just isn’t fair! Whilst all the while not talking to their club, or delegate, or making any effort to get involved and engage themselves.
If your club delegate is not passing on the information to you as a club member have you raised this with them? Do you even know who your club delegate is? Do you know if they attended the last meeting? Does your club even have a current delegate?
At two of the last three meeting I have chaired there have been less that 12 clubs represented. If the members of those clubs are not communicating to their delegates their feelings how are they supposed to know how to vote on the issues and more to the point, what about the clubs who haven’t even sent a delegate!
If you haven’t seen the agenda or minutes of the meetings have you asked your club why?
I have been complaining about apathy within the sport for a number of years and while I am pleased to see so many get involved on Facebook and to have received numerous e-mails both for and against the current proposals, they will all count for nothing if you don’t make the effort to follow the democratic process that has been set-up and allowed the ACTC to run successfully for 36 years.
Just to re-enforce the point again, you should understand that unless a council member is also representing a club, then they don’t even get a vote on any of the issues debated. So please understand, the ACTC is here to govern the sport and carry out the vital roles that are needed to ensure its continuance, but it is you who has the opportunity to decide on how its future is shaped.
Finally, are you a member of the ACTC yourself? Are you aware of the fight for the rights of way we are undertaking, or the concern over the licensing of marshals when using forestry land? Or any of the other on-going issues that are dealt with on your behalf?
If not, why not click on this link and join and become more involved and a part of the organisation?