Karting Australia and our affiliated State and Territory associations have vowed to stamp out unacceptable behaviour at karting events with the launch of Karting Australia’s “Respect Karting” program at the annual Building Better Kart Clubs conference held in Melbourne last weekend.
In launching the program, which is understood to be the first of its kind in Australian motorsport, Karting Australia Chief Executive Kelvin O’Reilly indicated that it will define the acceptable behaviour in the sport of karting.
“The Respect Karting program will define the acceptable standard of behaviour for all participants in our sport so that we create a more rewarding, safe and respectful environment for everyone in our sport and who may be considering joining our sport” said O’Reilly.
“The standard that we are setting is simply understood and achievable by everyone – treat others as you would like to be treated.”
Acknowledging that the vast majority of participants in karting are respectful and conduct themselves well most or all of the time, O’Reilly said “being at a sporting facility – a kart track does not give anyone the right to act in a disrespectful manner. There is no place in our sport for the ugly parent syndrome or the ugly competitor syndrome. We intend to send the message to all levels of competition that it's not okay for anyone to disrespect our sport, our Officials, volunteers, fellow competitors, Clubs or their own children.”
Key messages in the program are that as a sport, we value and should expect nothing less from our participants than:
- Following the ideals of sportsmanship;
- Keeping things in perspective and that it is, after all, just a race;
- Self-control and respect at all time;
- Always abiding by the rules and accepting the official’s decisions;
- Not using foul language, insulting remarks, threats and physical violence;
- Encouraging leadership, the use of initiative and good judgment;
- Not intentionally violating the integrity of the sport.
“There are plenty of provisions in our rules that enable our officials to deal with disrespectful behaviour but in the long term, we hope that this becomes self-policing program with fellow competitors giving a gentle reminder to someone who might be overstepping the mark,” said O’Reilly.
At the heart of the Respect karting program is the pledge made by the Member State Associations and Karting Australia to our karting community:
“On behalf of the Australian Karting Community, we will call out behaviour that undermines our commitment to drive a culture of respect for karting and all who participate in our sport.
We will not tolerate abuse directed towards Drivers, Teams, Officials, Administrators or Volunteers, so that we can create a safe community, free of bad behaviour, where people want to participate and where FUN is paramount.”
The initial stage of the program features:
- Powerful black and white imagery for prominent display at Clubs that highlight negative behaviours that don’t meet the respectful standard with accompanying tag line “That Can’t Be Me” and vibrant images that reinforce the positive and that speak loudly of the spirt of true competition and sportsmanship that is to be admired in our sport.
- “Please Remember” fence signs that highlight that abusive behaviour is not tolerated and that karting is meant to be fun for everyone.
- The Respect Karting Pledge that has been endorsed by all Member State and Territory Associations, this can be also made by every Club.
- Seven different versions of the powerful Respect Karting logo: Respect Our Officials, Respect Our Opponents, Respect Each Other, Respect Our Club, Respect Our Children and Respect Myself.
Above an emotional Karters Creed video - the long-term shared beliefs of our karting community that highlights the culture and values that we as a sport hold dear for the benefit of all karters, both present and future.