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Latest News...

KartSport invests in the future


7 Nov 2007

kartsport
Niki Urwin
Wade Cunningham

 

KartSport New Zealand is investing in the future with an innovative new academy-style coaching programme with two key aims.

"One," says KartSport Academy Director Graeme Moore, "is to strengthen and grow the sport in this country. The other is to identify and nurture our next World Champion."

Auckland's  Wade Cunningham put KartSport in New Zealand on the world motorsport map when he won the World Karting Championship in 2003. But like the vast majority of Kiwi sportsmen and women before him he had to forge his own path.

Now, says Moore, the Driver Development Academy will be able to help.

Under a charter developed by Moore and Academy Coordinator Niki Urwin the mission of the Academy is to; 'develop a suite of professional training programs and support material to attract and retain new entrants to the sport, and provide a development path which supports these members to whatever success level they aspire to, from consistent Junior to international success.'

To do this Urwin, a top level competitor in his own right who has been coaching motocross riders for many years, has created a three-level programme.

The levels are;

  • 'Explore and Learn' for new entrants and juniors
  • 'Hot Shots' performance enhancement for advanced drivers
  • and
  • 'Top Guns' for elite drivers.

KartSport New Zealand executive member Graeme Moore and former pro-motocrosser Urwin have been working on the Academy 'blueprint' for the past 18 months and got the green light to set their plans in motion when the Lion Foundation agreed to help fund it earlier this year.

Auckland's KartSport Mt Wellington club hosted the first day-long course on November 11 with KartSport Manawatu hosting the second at Palmerston North on November 25 and the Dunedin Kart Club the third on December 2.

The courses are open to club racers (of all all ages), and junior competitors (from the age of six-years) and their parents/supporters.

Identifying and catering for the needs of the parent/s and/or supporters is one of the things that differentiates the KartSport Academy approach from that of broadly similar coaching programmes in other sports.

But Director Graeme Moore says it is really only recognising the reality of the sport.

"One of the real strengths of our sport, " he says, " is that it is a true team sport, particularly so for our Juniors. The driving seems to come fairly easily for most of them but it's everything else - from being organised enough to get out the door on a Sunday morning to the preparation, maintenance and set-up of the kart. That is where the Dads, Mums or fellow family members or friends come in.

Because the the very real camaraderie across the various age groups the sport also plays an important, but Moore says often unrecognised role in helping young people negotiate the sometimes difficult path from child to adulthood.

KartSport is a safe, affordable motorsport which caters for all ages, with categories for Cadets (6-12yrs), Junior Restricted (10-14 yrs), Juniors (12-17 yrs) and Seniors (15 yrs and over). For more information on KartSport and/or the new Driver Development Academy go to www.kartsport.org.nz

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