Help wanted: Sporting Bears and Greenpower events at Aintree

By Chairman • July 23rd, 2018

There are two charity events coming up at Aintree in September and we’re looking for volunteers to watch over the activities on track.  Can you help?
Previous marshalling experience is not essential at these fun, but extremely worthwhile, events.

 1) Sporting Bears Dream Rides
– Sunday 2nd September.

Background: During the year, Sporting Bears Motor Club members visit various shows and events around the UK and give members of the public rides in a spectacular array of exotic cars in exchange for a donation to the Sporting Bears Charity. The “Bears”, are a dedicated group of classic car and sports car enthusiasts with one primary aim – to raise money for children’s charities through their own social and touring events. It is to the club’s credit that annual subscriptions entirely support the club overheads thus allowing all monies raised from events to be directed towards the selected charities.  Since the Club was formed in 1989 they have raised over £2,000,000 for children’s charities in the UK. At Carfest alone this year, they raised an incredible £102,000.

Paul Griffiths - Bentley

On 2nd September no money changes hands, the public don’t get the rides, but instead the children, their carers, families and staff from various North West charities are given a “sprint” ride around Aintree Circuit in the Bears’ classic saloons and sports cars, modern super cars and an assortment of sporting kit and competition cars.

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 How can you help?

If you can spare some time to keep an eye on the “on-track” activities, please do come along. I’m proud to say that it’s the most rewarding thing I do in motorsport and many a helper goes away with a tear in their eye when they see the reactions of the kids, virtually all of whom are being treated for serious and sometimes life threatening health conditions. “The best day of my life” is an oft heard response from the kids. Those who helped with the Dream Rides for Kids day at Aintree last year without exception said afterwards that they had a thoroughly enjoyable time.

I need at least a dozen volunteers to keep an eye on the Circuit, to act as my eyes & ears and to report any problems so that we can ensure that the event runs safely. This is not a race, it’s not competition, and overtaking isn’t allowed, but many of the cars will be driving at high speed which is why we need volunteers to observe the on-track activities and keep everyone safe.

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To see the kids’ expressions when taken round the circuit in a Ferrari, Porsche or Police car (yes, the Police give rides too!) is amazing – the hardest of men have been seen to shed a tear or two, it really is that emotional!

For a flavour of the kind of cars taking part, there’s loads of photos here of a last year’s slightly damp event at Aintree, and video of 2015’s event HERE.

Can you help?

Date: Sunday 2nd September, the day after our next Aintree Sprint (we need marshals for that too!).
Provisional timetable:
6.30 – Gates open
8.30 – Signing on opens
9.30 – Marshals Briefing 
9.30 – Drivers briefing and refreshments provided for Drivers, Marshals and helpers (Sponsor wanted)
9.30 – Children start to arrive and sign on
9.50 – Participants sighting lap convoy run
10.00 – Dream Rides start.
12.30 – Lunch provided for Drivers, Marshals and helpers (Sponsor wanted)
12.30 – PM session children sign on
13.30 – Dream Rides start for PM session
16.30 – Dream Rides finish
16.45 – Pack up

Previous experience is not essential and (for obvious legal reasons) you won’t be asked to deal directly with the children. If you can help for even just part of the day, please do let me know. Without people to marshal the event, it simply won’t happen. So that’s potentially 200 kids who won’t have smiles on their faces – and we can’t let that happen, can we?!!!

If you can help or for more information, please contact LMC Chairman, John Harden – 0161 969 7137 or via our secure messaging service.  You can just turn up on the day but I’d appreciate you telling me in advance that you are going to be there so that I know someone is turning up to help!

Sponsors wanted.
Aintree Racecourse let us have the venue without charge for the Sporting Bears event, but they are looking for sponsors, even if it’s only to cover the cost of sandwiches for the marshals. Do you know anyone who can help sponsor this event?


2) Greenpower Electric Car Races
– Wednesday 19th September

We need volunteers to help with this year’s Greenpower event as once again we are looking after safety on-track for the Greenpower’s tenth annual visit to Aintree.

I need a dozen people to act as my eyes and ears & to radio in when cars stop and to ensure the safe running of the event.
Would you like to be involved with this unusual event? It’s a great opportunity for Motorsport enthusiasts to contribute towards the careers of the engineers of the future.
There will be two 90 minute races for the Formula 24 cars (secondary education pupils) separated by a 1 hour race for the Formula 24+ cars (further education and corporate competitors).

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What is Greenpower? The Greenpower Trust is a charitable organisation that promotes engineering as a rewarding career, while also focusing on sustainability, teamwork and the community.
How? Students have to design, build and then race simple electrically powered cars.  Or the school can buy a kit-car to develop themselves. Greenpower specify certain design parameters, mostly safety related, supply a standard 24v electric motor and batteries, and then the teams get on and build a car. Several of the cars contain amazing leading edge technology, and some past pupils have gone on to careers in F1 motorsport. The project is part of the National Curriculum and even attracts teams from Europe & the USA.

For those of you who haven’t been before, there’s nothing strenuous or dangerous about your duty, but don’t jump out in-front of one of the cars, some can be averaging over 35mph round the circuit and they don’t slow down for the corners! The day is particularly suitable for our less active (or more senior) helpers as you can sit down in the comfort of your car or arm chair (if you bring one!) and watch the cars go by. Can you help?
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  Click HERE for Greenpower Video

Signing on is from 8.30 to 09.00am, and the last race will finish at 4.45pm. There will be Breakfast from 7.30am for early arrivals. Hot and cold drinks and a sandwich lunch will be provided to volunteers too, but as the lunch break is just 30 minutes we recommend that you bring food & drink with you, as that 30 mins includes getting to & from your post, and the timetable is very tight!
We already have half a dozen volunteers but could do with several more. Motorsport marshalling experience is not necessary and there is no need for orange fireproofs! If you can help, or know someone who may be interested in coming along to assist with this charity event, please let me know. The more people we get, the more interesting it will be for all of us!

Timetable for Greenpower Aintree 2018 event:-

Date: Wednesday 19th September
06.30 – Gates open
08.30 – Marshals Signing-on
09.00 – Marshals’ Briefing
09.30 – 11.00 – Practice
11.45 – 13.15 – IET Formula 24 Race 1 (competitors ages 11-16) 90 Min Race (Awards at 1400)
13.15 – 13.45 – Lunch
13.45 – 14.45 – Formula 24+ (competitors ages 16-25) 60 minute race (Awards at 1530)
15.15 – 16.45 – IET Formula 24 Race 2(competitors ages 11-16) 90 Min Race (Awards at 17.00)
16.45 – Pack up

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If you know of anyone who would like to come along to keep an eye on the circuit on either of these great events, please spread the word. But I do need to know who’s coming so that I can ensure there’s enough food for all.
 If you volunteered earlier in the year for either event, please contact me again anyway so that I know you are definitely still coming along.

If you can help or for more information, please contact LMC Chairman, John Harden – 0161 969 7137 or contact him via our secure messaging service.

Whilst spectators are welcome we’d rather you helped, even for just half a day.
Access is from Melling Road, Liverpool L10 8LF – just follow the signs for Aintree Golf Centre. But please tell us you are coming along!

 

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