MSA Club Child Protection Officers
Since the launch of the MSA’s Child Protection Policy in 2007, the MSA’s activity has been concentrated on encouraging Clubs to determine whether they need appoint a Child Protection Officer (CPO) and to process initial nominations. In order to keep these important volunteers more fully informed, the first in a periodic series of MSA e-bulletins has been circulated to CPOs. Any Club CPOs who have not received their copy, please advise Allan Dean-Lewis at:

A copy can also be accessed from the Members section of the MSA website by logging in as an official. The bulletin is not intended for general circulation.

MSA Council seeks nominees for Specialist Committees
The MSA is seeking nominations from individuals wishing to be on one of the Specialist Committees that represent the interests of the various disciplines of motor sport.

The Specialist Committees, covering Autotest, Cross Country, Historics, Karting, Race, Rallies, Speed Events and Trials, meet two or three times a year, normally at Motor Sports House. The topics of the day are discussed and new regulations and other issues are debated. The decisions and minutes are communicated via the Committee Chairmen at the next MSA Council meeting for approval.

No formal qualifications are required but you must be a member of an MSA-recognised motor club or Regional Association who must support your nomination. The role is voluntary, although expenses will be paid to cover travel to Motor Sports House. The appointment is for a three-year term, with each person serving no more than three consecutive terms, apart from in exceptional circumstances.

Colin Hilton, MSA Chief Executive, says: "New recruits always bring a sense of renewed purpose and a fresh perspective – which is so important in this role. I encourage anyone with a passion for this sport to get involved and help to develop and shape it for the future."

There is no application form to complete. Just write down a brief outline of your motor sport involvement and interests together with your name, address and contact details. This should be sent by your MSA-registered club or Regional Association to Andrea Wren at Motor Sports House, Riverside Park, Colnbrook, SL3 0HG to arrive before the end of June 2008.

Beware the Norwich Pharmacal order
Hosts of internet forums, bulletin boards and the like should be aware of the potential pitfalls if they allow their websites to be used as platforms for defamatory material.

Recently, a High Court case was brought by a Championship football club against the owner and operator of a website. The club argued that some of the site’s users had posted false and defamatory messages against the club and its directors. The club could not bring proceedings against those posting the messages, as their real identity was not known, only their screen name, so the only way to find out the identities of the message posters was from the website operator.

The court granted a ‘Norwich Pharmacal’ order in five of the 14 postings considered. This required the website operator to assist the victim by disclosing the identity of the wrongdoer. The judge held that the club’s entitlement to take action to protect its reputation outweighed the rights of the message posters to maintain their anonymity and to express themselves freely.

Let the officials sleep
Contact information for club officials was mentioned in e-Wheels 10 May 2008 (past issues can be downloaded from the MSA website at:

Another suggestion is to include a cut-off time for telephone calls such as: No phone calls to Committee Members or Event Officials after 9pm please.

Force majeure?
The day before a PCT, the field is flooded. On the morning of a rally, the main road to stage one is closed. Two hours before an autotest is due to run, the Clerk of the Course is still stuck at the airport due to a strike by baggage handlers.

With the smooth running of motor sport events dependant on so many factors these days, club officials would be well advised to pose a few What if? questions and plan for the answers. Competitors and volunteers are likely to be sympathetic to changed arrangements which have been thought through and are reasonable under the circumstances.

MSA Championships
The MSA British and other championships are now well underway and the latest positions, qualifying events and links to championship websites are on

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