The Malta Motorsport Federation (MMF) in collaboration with the Malta Sports Council (KMS) hosted a conference on Motorsport Safety and Risk Management on Friday 13th March 2009
The event was attended by the presidents and chairman of the majority of Maltese clubs both federation members and non-members including: All Wheel Drive Club, Assocjazzjoni Sport Muturi, Island Car Club, Old Motors Club, Mini Moto Malta Amateurs Club, Island Radio Controlled Racing Club, Gozo Model Racing Club, Ferrari Club, Porsche Club Malta, Federazjoni Muturi Vetturi Antiki, Mini Moto Owners Club, Island Karting Club, American Club Malta, Malta Drag Racing Association, Classic Ford Car Club Malta, Malta Quad Bikes Association, Motor Vehicle Heritage Trust, Karting Club Malta, Alfa Romeo Club Malta, Classic Ford Car Club, Mini Owners Club Malta, Rebel Riders Brotherhood, Island Motor Racing Club Malta, BMW Bikes Malta, Military Vehicles Club, Source R Club Malta, Concept 0 Car Club, Triumph Owners Club.
Secretary General George Abdilla stated how the MMF came to exist two years ago and brought together an ever growing number of clubs. Abdilla noted that if Motorsports wants to do the next step the clubs must gel for common targets such as a national raceway. He also stressed how important it is that Clubs within the federation trust each other and collaborate to achieving each other’s goals.
KMS Chairman Bernard Vassallo said he cannot but admire the intense passion for motorsport in Malta. He stated that motorsport is not only exciting but can also boost the economy both in terms of the services to the sport as well as the potential for tourism. Vassallo noted that most people involved are on a voluntary basis and yet Malta still produces many international successes.
Key note speaker Alan Dean Lewis is the Head of External Affairs of RAC MSA (UK) & Member of the FIA Institute of Motorsport Safety. He started of by stating that size does not matter and it is very positive that the MMF is FIA recognised although in small islands like the Scotish Isles, Guernsey, Isle of Man and Malta there is limited space and everyone must share it.
Motorsports drives all safety features found in modern vehicles – seatbelts traction control, ABS are all technologies emerging from a sport which required them for its drivers’ safety. Lewis noted how important it is to introduce people to apprenticeships in motorsports as in the UK alone the industry generates £3.6 Billion worth of exports.
Malta must work together to share its resources: business parks – empty in the weekends – could be used as tracks. Malta also needs to strengthen its existing structures and bring together all motorsports not only land-based. It is also essential to develop partnerships with the police and authorities as well as share any allocated land with other sports such as runners and cyclists. The value of motorsports to the tourism is a large one, and although there are no magic solutions working together he concluded, equals unity.
MMF President Tonio Cini said the commonest word used throughout the event was ‘unite’ and that all enthusiasts even if not in the MMF should come together. Cini pointed out that the Parliamentary Secretary for Sport Clyde Puli clearly stated that Government only wants to deal with one entity so remaining divided is not an option. In Malta land is limited and motorsports enthusiast have been crying out for their playground for decades, yet only developers seem to get land. A national support is now a must not only for adults but also for children interested in taking up a discipline.
Cini concluded that education and research are key to ensure safety principles are translated into safety on the Maltese roads. Thus in the coming months the MMF will be setting the national regulations and rules for safety in races and competitions.
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