SMMC's youngest member, 11 year old cadet marshal Katie, was helping to provide essential safety services at the Jim Clark Rally this weekend. This is her story, in her own words...
I like motorsport and race cars because they are noisy, fast, cool to watch and have colourful designs. I have grown up watching rallying and other motorsport on TV and online/YouTube. I have been to see the Snowman Rally twice with my Dad and Grandad as well as several other rallies. I also go to Knockhill frequently as it is local to me, and I have been to Kames to watch a junior rally.
I wanted to be a cadet marshal so that I could help to make it safe for people to come and watch rallies, meet the drivers and co-drivers, and see the cars up very close. To do this, I had to pass an online test, so I could get my Motorsport UK cadet marshal licence, which I did for my 11th birthday.
Move forward 42 days and I was out helping at my first rally. I helped with passage control at the end of the Abbey St Bathans stage on Saturday 9th November on the Jim Clark Rally.
My Dad woke me up very early at half past five in the morning and we left around 6 o’clock. The temperature was -4 when we arrived, so I was glad I had lots of clothes on! Dad and I went to sign on and met senior marshals who kindly gave us a gift and goodie bag. We were also handed an armband to wear, which was too big for my little arm. We then drove through the stage and saw other marshals, safety signs, and lots of red/white tape and black/yellow tape at the spectator areas.
Before the competitors came to our post, we had several safety cars with senior marshals, who all asked if we were ready, and checked if we knew what we were doing. I helped my Dad by remembering the previous car number so he could write it on the co-drivers time card. I got the chance to talk to drivers and co-drivers whilst Dad filled in their time cards. It got a wee bit warmer as the day went on, but I enjoyed the heat coming out of the cars when they stopped and the co-driver opened their door! Most of the co-drivers and drivers were friendly and thanked us for coming along to help. I even got a few bags of sweets from co-drivers and drivers.
After the two runs of the stage, we tidied up all the signs and then were told we could leave. We headed to Duns and met some drivers who my Dad knew, and lots of people said ‘thank you’ to me.
Since I had been up early, and had been outside and busy all day, I was very tired and fell asleep on the way home. We had a treat for dinner and I chose a sausage supper.
(Katie's story and photos have been used with parental consent)