As the UK Government continue to cautiously lift restrictions to allow the economy to recover, so motorcycle sport in its various disciplines will also adopt the same careful approach. Behind the scenes, a lot of work has been undertaken and guidance notes and Risk Assessments have been drafted for all our disciplines and sent out to all Event Organisers which outline the control measures to be put in place to allow ACU permitted events to take place in a safe environment.
In England and the Isle of Man, practice/test day activity is already underway, ACU competitive events will commence from early July, mainly Off Road to begin with and Road Racing to follow later in the month / early August and we hpe to see our other devolved administrations resuming activity in the near future. So, thinking back a couple of months ago, the prospect that dauntingly faced us that we may not see a competitive wheel turn throughout the 2020 season has thankfully not come to fruition.
Because of Covid-19 and like many, many other businesses in the UK and across the world, the ACU will suffer a significant financial downturn which is continually being monitored by the Board of Directors. Despite this, and looking forward to next year, the Directors have already decided that there will be no increase in the cost of an ACU Licence / Trials Registration for 2021, the current annual cost of £52.00 for a Competition Licence and £12.00 for a Trials Registration will remain the same for next year.
Whilst many other sports enjoy the benefits of government funding, our sport does not and unfortunately, never has. Quite simply, the ACU is totally reliant on the income received from annual competition licence and Trials Registration fees and that income is then used to fund the ACUs many liabilities, the biggest being the provision of the extensive Insurance cover placed to protect our sport and also the administration in all its various facets delivered from ACU Head Office. With all that said, there have been a few queries received from some riders asking if a refund of their licence fee is possible for this year but as the season, albeit late, is about to get underway, there will be no competition licence or Trials Registration refunds.
From an ACU Head Office perspective, although some staff have been and continue to be furloughed, a support network was established from the outset to provide a service to our Centres/Clubs and Organisers. Preparations are being made to allow ACU staff to return to work in a safe environment, but in the meantime it is business as usual and key members of staff, in Licencing, Accounts and our various sport disciplines will continue to provide a service that has been visible throughout the pandemic.
Chairman Roy Humphrey commented; “I think like everyone else, I am really looking forward to the prospect that our various sports can get going in a competitive sense in the coming weeks. It goes without saying that this has been a very difficult period for everyone, but, I would really like to thank our Doctors, Para-Medics and Medical staff that support our events, who will have undoubtedly been at the forefront and put themselves at risk saving the lives of others during these unprecedented times. We are now looking at a ‘New Normal’ and I would just ask everyone to be mindful of the UK Government guidance and advice which is issued on a regular basis and to follow the instructions given when they turn up at an event. Our Organisers are doing everything they can to ensure our sport can take place in as safe an environment as possible. Collectively, I am sure we can get the sport re-started, but it has to be done in a safe and controlled manner so that our competitors and Officials feel safe whilst competing and officiating at our events’.