Behind the scenes of many amateur motocross clubs lies the dedication, drive and determination of individuals, who are prepared to give up their spare time almost each and every day of the week, in order to keep their club and motocross alive at grass roots level.
At the heart of one such club is Julie Ann Hambridge, who along with her husband Colin is part of the Coventry Junior Motocross Club (CJMX). I caught up with Club Treasurer, Julie – although she has many other roles within the club – and she very kindly offered me some of her valuable time in order to answer a few questions.
RB: How long have you been associated or involved with the club?
JH: Myself and Colin have been involved with CJMX for the past 13 years through our son who joined as a 10-year-old. We started off by transporting the lap van to and from race meetings, and I helped as lap scorer then assistant Treasurer and now full time Treasurer. We did attend race meetings and Presentation’s before that to support our nephew who raced with the Club.
RB: What is your role within the club?
JH: My official role is Club Treasurer but I also act as Competition Secretary, Membership Secretary, Lap scorer and I even help with track building when needed!
RB: Is this a full or part-time job for you?
JH: To be honest, I spend at least an hour or so most days doing something, but this depends on the time of year obviously.
Julie then goes on to give me an insight into what is involved with running a successful Motocross Club.
JH: Before a race event, I order the WC’s, place the adverts, order and collect the trophies and print off the paperwork. Then after the event the paperwork has to be processed and sent to the Affiliation. The score sheets have to be collated, with non-members taken out of the equation and then sent off to the two ladies that look after the scores for the end of year presentation.
For the presentation itself, I order the annual awards, collect in the previous year’s awards and send them off to be re-engraved. I also order flowers etc for helpers, assist the lady that sells the tickets and converse with the Hotel to book an evening for our annual awards ceremony.
RB: Do you get a wage from the club?
JH: No, it is purely voluntary. Club members vote each year at the AGM for the person they would like to have in a particular role. I am honoured to have been elected for the last six years.
RB: What age group does your club accommodate and how many members do you currently have?
JH: We have children (Auto riders who must be aged six) right through to Veteran adult riders and at the moment, we have 169 members.
RB: Have there been any memorable moments for you that you would like to share with us?
JH: This is a hard one.
Our son unfortunately broke his back in a number of places when he was 16 and spent a very long time on a spinal bed in hospital before having rehabilitation and recovering from his injuries. But despite my best efforts, he decided he wanted to race again when able to do so – which he did, and he won his very first race at a Stratford Night Meeting we held in really bad weather – that for me was a very proud time.
Another memorable moment was when myself and my husband Colin who is Chairman, were very, very proud of our club who came 2nd in the 2012 Team Event with 2 groups (Small Wheels and AMX) winning outright. It was a fantastic achievement for a club as small as ours.
My thanks and admiration to the multi-talented Julie Ann Hambridge for giving me a fantastic insight into how not just the Coventry Junior Motocross Club is run, but also how probably many other clubs up and down the country are run and supported by volunteers alike.
So next time you’re ripping up the track at your local venue, spare a thought for the hard working people like Julie and her husband, who behind the scenes make it possible for you to enjoy what you like doing best. They are without doubt, The Unsung Heroes of Motocross.
This article was republished with permission from braap