About 2&4 Wheel Motorsport

For those engaged in motorsport in Northern Ireland, motorsport is in their DNA. The sport is full of committed, knowledgeable, grass roots amateur and professional motor sport enthusiasts, athletes, marshalls, volunteers and spectators – all of whom have one thing in common – a passion for motorsport and a love of the thrill and community cohesive spirit that engagement in the sport can bring.

This plan focuses on five main themes – safety; development of motorsport; promoting participation and talent; governance; and improving economic and social impact. Continuously and innovatively improving the safety of the sport for competitors, volunteers and spectators is the primary focus of the strategy. We will explore the use of technology and its applications in making our sport safer. Like any other sport, motorsport requires funding, infrastructure and facilities to keep it safe and help it grow and succeed nationally and internationally. Building the capacity of the sector to collaborate with others to generate additional funding, income, media coverage and support is a priority.

We wish to see more females, youth and those with a disability participating, benefiting from and enjoying the sport.

Many Northern Ireland competitors, across a range of disciplines, have excelled on the national and international stage and act as role models for new and emerging young talent and ambassadors for Northern Ireland. All of these international sports people have learned their skills and honed their talent through participation in local grass roots events before embarking on a national or international motorsport career. We will ensure pathways to progression within motorsport for elite competitors are well understood and supported, particularly for those new to the sport. Increasing and retaining participation and engagement in the sport by as diverse a group as possible is one of the priorities of this new strategy. Widening the appeal and inclusion of the sport to a new and broader audience, recruiting and retaining new talent into the sport through addressing barriers to entry to the sport, and identifying and nurturing talented young sports people early on in their career are all important. We wish to see more females, youth and those with a disability participating, benefiting from and enjoying the sport. As a grassroots sport, we are fully committed to an inclusion agenda and in making our sport more accessible to all.

Demonstrating how motorsport can contribute to the STEAM agenda and the good relations and community safety agendas in schools and colleges is a focus of our new strategy. Motorsport has produced many world renowned engineers and sportspeople, all of whom are role models that can inspire to this day. The expertise and skills that motorsport nurtures locally continue to provide technicians, strategists, managers and administrators who have and still work at the premier motorsport events and with the top teams and manufacturers. Motorsport has much to offer. This, we hope, will increase participation in our sport. Supporting the wide and diverse ecosystem motorsport is important. The strategy recognises the need to invest in the skills of the administrative, technical and support roles, all of whom are vital to the sustainability and success of the sport and without whom the sport would not exist. We need to recognise and appreciate this voluntary contribution to motorsport.

We acknowledge that we are in a very different world, where the custodianship of our planet and its natural assets is ever more important. We will focus our attention on how we can make our sport as carbon friendly as possible taking actions to promote the adoption of environmental best practice across motorsport. We wish to demonstrate our sector’s leadership in this field. We will work with, among others, our worldwide governing bodies in this regard. Improving the governance of our sport and ensuring ongoing alignment with that of our national and international governing bodies with whom we are affiliated will assist our sport to grow and excel. Our international governing bodies can be a key partner in many of our ambitions moving forward. We will continue to learn from our sister governing bodies in other parts of the UK and Ireland in particular on the organisation of major events and our role in helping to ensure the financial sustainability of our sport.

The report on the Economic Impact of Motorsport demonstrated that our sport contributes significantly to the Northern Ireland economy. The strategy aims to increase this economic impact through improved promotion and marketing resulting in more spectators and sponsorship and through identifying other opportunities for increasing the economic impact of the sport. We recognise that it also contributes to the social fabric of and cohesion within our communities and as such we will aim to measure this impact alongside the economic impact on our new and exciting journey ahead.

We have the potential to contribute to the Programme for Government outcomes and those of local authorities and Sport NI. As a shared sport, we can contribute to the T:BUC agenda creating even more opportunities in the creation of a shared society in NI. We will strive to build new partnerships and collaborative projects moving forward.

We welcome and acknowledge the recent publication of the Northern Ireland Motorsport Taskforce Report published in June 2019, and the report on the Economic Impact of Motorsport in Northern Ireland which has shone a light on the needs of and potential for greater inclusion and impact of our sport.

Photography by: Stephen Henderson, William Neill, Stephen Davison, Marc Quinlavin.