Scottish Marshals Association
Sammis insight on Marshaling
Back in September 2008, my local bike club had a presentation on about Marshalling the Bike Racing at East Fortune, this was something that had interested me for a few years but I had no idea how to get into it, I assumed you needed specialist courses and qualifications. How wrong could I be!!! I was told to turn u and I would be given all the training I would need. So after numerous clashes of dates with my rallying schedule I finally had a free weekend in July 09 and thought what the hell I donít know anyone but Iíll give it a go.
So Friday tea time I packed the car with everything I thought I could possibly need and set off for the 2 hour run to East Fortune and typical Scottish weather it was pitch black and pouring down when I got there. I pitched my tent in the dark and went for a wander to try and get my bearings and try and find a friendly face to tell me where to go and what to do. After a couple of beers in the bar and a good natter to some of the racers I turned in for the night still not sure what to expect in the morning.
Up Bright and early on the Saturday morning I found the marshals cabin and waited for the chief Marshal to allocate corners to everyone, luckily he remembered me from the club meeting the previous year and straight away I was made to feel welcome by all. I was put on a corner with a marshal who had 16 years experience and although feeling really nervous about messing up he put me at ease and talked me through everything I was to do from waving the right flag at the right time to picking up the bikes and which way to duck if one was coming in my direction, luckily we had no incidents that day and by the end of it although we were all soggy wet and tired it was as though we had known each other for years I had not laughed so much in a long time. At the end of the racing it was time to head back to the marshals cabin for a couple of beers and a BBQ all laid on for us by the Chief Marshal, who, although no one will admit to his face, is not a bad cook. So turning in around eleven, aching from the laughing I was looking forward to another day. The Sunday proved to be just as much fun and although the weather was wet and miserable, it didnít dampen our spirits, we had a blast. By the end of the weekend I was hooked and had already started planning whether I could make the next meet. Try stopping me, no chance!!!!
As the year has gone on and we came to the end of the season I truly feel part of a team, an extended family, when I was asked to write about my experiences as a new marshal I couldnít resist, everyone I meet that shows the remotest interest in marshalling gets told to come down and give it a shot and that is the hardest part, turning up not knowing anyone or what to expect, but turn up guaranteed you will be made to feel more than welcome and once youíve done your first day you will be hooked just like I am...........