This weekend’s 18-19 May International Rally of Whangarei in association with the Brian Green Property Group requires a large group of volunteers to keep the event running as the competitors tackle 16 special stages from Whangarei in the north to Marohemo in the south
Two groups recruited to contribute include the Kamo Scout group and Royal Oak Scout group. Their roles include assisting with the ceremonial start and finish activities, car washing and overnight parking security for an event that is beamed to a television audience of 431 million households worldwide.
The opening round of the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship covers 730.40km of roads in the Whangarei and Kaipara districts. Volunteer groups are key to the event’s success, ensuring that all of the safety and procedural functions are carried out correctly, in accordance with the strict FIA requirements.
Involved for their second year members of the Kamo Scout Group have two specific roles. Assisting with the organisation of the ceremonies members precede each car over the start ramp with signs identifying the nationality of the competitors. The parents of the Scouts will also be providing security services at the overnight ‘Parc Ferme’, or secure park, at the Whangarei Town Basin. The Scouts have a high profile in Whangarei with four groups based in the area.
In addition there is a team from the Royal Oak Scout Group volunteering again to wash the rally cars before they enter the town to make sure that the cars are clean in the city.
Kelly Bleakley, national commissioner of Scouting New Zealand is enthusiastic about the contribution that Scouts make to the event and to the community in general:
“Scouting helps our young people grow up with a better appreciation of the responsibility that they have to the community at large. Events like the International Rally of Whangarei help our youth grow by giving them experiences outside of their normal activities. I know that the rally will benefit from the Scouts enthusiasm and skills that they have already learned.
“In return the Scout groups will generate much needed funds from their contribution to the event, and Scouts, like so many other community groups, do not not receive any funding from government, so the rally contribution assists the parents and members in their fund raising.”
Rally of Whangarei Organising Chairman Laurie Brenssell says: “Every year we are supported by community groups like the Scouts, and we are extremely grateful for their assistance. Our relationship with Scouts goes back many years, and each year we know we can rely on our youngest volunteers to turn out whatever the weather, with smiles on their faces. It is so good to see our youth working responsibly at an international event”.
A rally map, with clearly-marked spectator viewing points, is available free to download from the event website www.rallywhangarei.co.nz, or it can be collected from rally headquarters at Quayside Town Basin (from 16 May) or found in the rally insert published in the Northern Advocate on 15 May.
Further news and ticketing information can be found on the www.rallywhangarei.co.nz website, or follow the event on Facebook.