It appears Mick Doohan’s reference to the “other end of the sport” in Karting Australia’s latest Full Throttle Publication, continues to highlight the division and preference Karting Australia has been giving to the “elite” and “privileged”.
Grass-root karters have been experiencing the squeeze since Karting Australia’s CEO launched his Strategic Plan in 2016 to create sustainable growth in a “niche” sporting market and “define elite driver development pathways” ensure development and/or improvement of “the financial position of Karting Australia” and the “overall Karting Australia brand and image”.
But where does the grass-root karter sit in all of this? Who is funding the “elite driver development pathway” and “overall Karting Australia brand and image”?
Upon the recommendation of the NSW Office of Sport and Recreation, late in 2017, Clubs in New South Wales voted in a new board. The new board were selected with independent business skills with no personal conflict or personal financial interest in the outcome of their decisions. They are not paid – they are all volunteers. They do not have private companies that “consult” to KA or KNSW. They are not the benefactor of any “sponsorship deal”. Quite simply – they do not get paid anything.
They were asked to look at what was happening to karting in NSW. Why were numbers dropping and costs of karting increasing? Why was Karting Australia’s financial position and “elite” national events thriving? And only after 12 months – they can see O’Reilly’s plan play out.
And now, after the most recent controversial and gutsy move by the NSW Board to call it out, 22 out of 25 NSW Clubs can see it too!
Unless you are in the top revenue earner clubs in the State – then you are out! You are not in the “niche” sporting market – nor are you part of the “elite driver development pathway”. But Karting Australia is still happy to take your money - license fees and insurance costs and track development levy….just a shame you will never see it or get the benefit of it!
Instead, now faced with having to actually be accountable and answer questions that have remained unanswered for the last 4 years, Karting Australia is suggesting clubs leave KNSW and directly affiliate with Karting Australia - where they will have NO right to vote and NO right to have a say. But of course they say KNSW is too wrapped up in governance and not skilled in the sport. How else do they account for their actions? Did the NSW Office of Sport and Recreation see this coming???
Hats off to the NSW Board for having the guts to call it. Hats off to the “Other End of our Sport” for calling it!! This is our sport and we are taking it back!!