Gender is no barrier to volunteering in what may be seen as traditionally male sports.
Heather Robilliard has been involved with motor sport for more than 40 years and is currently Competition Secretary for the Guernsey Kart & Motor Club, most recently helping out at the Bank Holiday Val des Terres Hill Climb.
‘We do sprints, we go up to Alderney, we do karting, we do motocross; we do lots of different events with anyone from aged 6 at motocross up to 70, 80 for some of the other events,’ explained Heather.
‘The competitors register online, and, on the day, I make sure they have all the correct paperwork etc in line with what the governing body on the mainland requires.
‘For me, volunteering is all about the camaraderie, the friendship, the laughs, the jokes and just watching the children grow up to become racers. I got divorced so it was a good way to get out and meet new people. My job gets me to mix with ladies whereas here it’s primarily men and so it’s a totally different change to work.’
In common with most other sports clubs, the Guernsey Kart & Motor Club would not be able to function without its volunteers.
‘We wouldn’t be able to exist; we can’t financially pay anybody and so we have to rely on volunteers,’ said Heather.
Jackie Le Cheminant has been racing for years but is keen to give something back to the sport that has been an ongoing passion for her and her family.
‘I’ve been racing for about 15 years now. My Dad races and has done for maybe 50 years now, my brother races, my husband races so it’s in the blood.
‘I’m just a speed freak I suppose,’ said Jackie.
She’s just been elected to the position of Assistant Car Captain for the Kart & Motor Club.
‘I’m just learning the ropes at the moment, but I think it’s about providing a voice between the competitors and the committee and trying to improve the club and make things run smoother.
‘If everyone does their little bit then it just helps the club run more smoothly and its quite satisfying to be able to help people. It’s a hobby that I love, and I want to make sure that everyone has a good time.’
Jackie agrees with Heather that motor sport in Guernsey would not be where it is without dedicated volunteers and that there’s always room for more.
‘We are definitely looking for marshals to train up,’ said Jackie.
‘Anyone that is willing to come along even for just a half day. We can do a training course, we can get them involved, so that they can be part of this fun sport.’