A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by AMCA's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from AMCA is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

Suzanne Potts, general manager
Skegness beach race
crowd 2017
Good, clean fun – that’s certainly not a claim the Amateur
Motor Cycle Association can make. As an organising
body of over 900 off-road motorcycling events annually,
running the length and breadth of the country in all weathers,
a heady mix of mud and motorcycles has kept the AMCA in
business since it’s formation in 1932. AMCA General Manager,
Suzanne Potts, provides a look behind the scenes at one of
the UK countryside’s lesser known sports. Based in Cannock,
Staffordshire, the AMCA’s headquarters is home to a team of
six staff who co-ordinate the activities of 200 amateur clubs and
5,000 active off-road motorcyclists.
Disciplines such as trials – as seen in the BBC ‘Kick Start’ series – along with
motocross, classic scrambles, hill climbs, endurance riding and beach racing keep
both riders and spectators entertained, with events taking place all year round.
The AMCA started life in the West Midlands originally providing weekend sport for
workers in the heart of the British bike building industry. Back in the thirties riders
would compete on the same bike they rode every day to work. Things have moved
on since then and clubs are now spread throughout the UK and riders come from a
variety of backgrounds. The AMCA is one of the oldest off-road motorcycle bodies
in the world, it has played a key role in the growth and promotion of the sport
in the UK as a founder member of LARA (Land Access & Recreation Association)
it champions the considerate use of the countryside for the enjoyment of off
»General manager:
»Established in 1932
»Based in Cannock,
»6 employees
»200 amateur clubs
»Over 900 UK based events
Amateur Motor Cycle
Highlighting best practice
The AMCA is an independent
organisation dedicated to providing
efficient management and control
of off-road motorcycle sports for the
benefit of riders whose primary interest
is in the sport. The AMCA does not
have shareholders and any profits are
put back into the association to benefit
it’s members. We pride ourself on
providing regulated, safe, friendly cost
effective motor sport events at grass
roots level. Voluntary work by the
clubs in the running of events helps
to keep entry and licence costs as low
The AMCA has had to adapt over the
years to provide riders with the latest
style events, and as land suitable for
motorsport events became sparse
the association ploughed it’s profits
into purchasing several large pieces
of land for it’s members use as well
as purchasing it’s purpose built
headquarters in Cannock.
Grassroots Amateur Motorsport
Essentially the AMCA provides
organising clubs with everything
they need to run off road events – a
structured set of rules, insurance and
admin back up along with the physical
equipment required at the event;
public address systems, start gates,
signage, timing equipment etc.
Riders can compete at local level and
progress to national and international
Championship level. The AMCA
were a founder member of the IMBA
(International Motor Bike Association)
providing a platform for riders to
represent team GB at motocross events
across ten European countries.
In recent years the AMCA has faced
the challenge of more and more
event organisers coming into the
sport, with rider numbers static event
organisers have to work harder than
ever to attract the riders. The AMCA
has to provide it’s members with
good quality events in order to retain
them and attract much needed new
members, we are here to provide the
back up and support the clubs need
in order to do this. On line licensing
and entry into events have helped to
make it easier than ever for riders to
get involved and promoting events
via social media is something that
the AMCA is now actively involved
in. The AMCA team had to hit the
ground fast with moving into the
world of technology as only ten years
ago everything was still 100 per cent
riding greatly
improves road
riding skills
AMCA motocross first
corner action
Obtaining insurance for a dangerous
sport can be costly, so the AMCA has
developed a training programme for it’s
officials to improve safety and reduce
potential claims. Using an external
training provider has helped maintain
objectivity at the training seminars and
in order to keep the training fresh for
long serving officials the programme
undergoes an overhaul every three years.
Working in partnership
As part of the work the AMCA does
behind the scenes to not only develop
and protect off-road motorsport but
also to secure the long term future
of the Association, we, backed by a
board of non-executive Directors, have
pursued various avenues including
a proactive approach to partnership
working with leading names in the
industry. The AMCA is a member of
the Motorcycle Industry Association
and for the last three years I have been
vice-chair of the off road group. We
believe working with the industry is key
to improving the association’sprofile.
Through meeting other industry
decision makers the AMCA forged
a relationship with Yamaha Europe
to provide their motocross off-road
experience days. The experience
provides those new to the sport with a
non-competitive environment to learn
key skills and benefit from enjoying a
day’s off-road riding on new equipment
supplied by Yamaha. The experience
also welcomes older riders who are
returning to the sport and need a
refresher session to improve their
confidence before competing again.
The partnership between AMCA and
Yamaha helps attract newcomers
into the sport and whilst represents
a departure from the main business
of grass roots competition events, it
both complements and enhances the
AMCA’s overall business model. It is
widely accepted that off-road riding
greatly improves road-riding skills so the
AMCA Yamaha motocross experience
also delivers road safety benefits. Long
term partnerships have also been
developed with Dunlop and Datatag
Security systems, both supporting the
AMCA’s National Championship with
financial and product support.
Economic benefits
The economic benefits a large scale
motorsport event bring to an area
has helped the AMCA establish a
motocross beach race in Skegness
– working closely with East Lindsey
District Council and the Magna Vitae
Trust for Leisure & Culture, the two
day event runs outside of the main
tourist season and generates much
welcome income for local businesses as
25,000 spectators flock to the event.
The 2018 and 2019 events have just
secured £20,000 of Lincs Coast BID
funding to further improve the beach
race and increase visitor numbers.
Looking to the future
We are confident that the future
is bright, with a young, dynamic,
passionate team focussed on staying
ahead of the competition and continuing
the tradition of UK grassroots motorsport
being available to all. Tackling the
challenges that lie ahead motivates the
team and we are optimistic as we move
towards our 100thbirthday which is not
that far away!
William and
Harry are keen
and rode
1,000 miles
across South
Africa for
AMCA Yamaha
motocross experience day

This article was sponsored by AMCA. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Michael Gove.

Rt Hon Michael Gove's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Michael Gove

This year's Parliamentary Review comes at a momentous time for parliament, as we collectively determine the destiny of the United Kingdom. 

On October 31, the UK will leave the European Union. The successful implementation of this process is this government's number-one priority.

Three years after a historic referendum vote, we will deliver on the decisive mandate from the British people. Trust in our democracy depends on it. Until that final hour, we will work determinedly and diligently to negotiate a deal, one that abolishes the backstop and upholds the warm and close relationship we share with our friends, allies and neighbours in the EU. But in the event that the EU refuses to meet us at the table, we must be prepared to leave without a deal.

As the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, it is my job to lead on this government's approach, should that scenario happen. Preparing for Brexit is my department's driving mission. But while I am leading this turbocharged effort, the whole of government is committed to this endeavour.

Ministers across Whitehall are working together to ensure that every possibility is considered, every plan is scrutinised and every provision is made. A daily drumbeat of meetings means that we are holding departments accountable, so that preparations are completed on time.

The chancellor has confirmed that all necessary funding will be made available. And we have mobilised thecivil service, assigning 15,000 of our most talented civil servants to manage our exit from the EU.

We will make sure that on November 1, there is as little disruption to national life as possible. Our trade relationships will continue to thrive, thanks to agreements with countries around the world worth £70 billion. Our country will remain secure, thanks to nearly 1,000 new officers posted at our borders. And the 3.2 million EU nationals now living and working among us can remain confident, with absolute certainty, of their right to remain in the UK.

Above all, our goal is to be transparent. Soon, we will launch a public information campaign so that citizens, communities and businesses are ready and reassured about what will happen in the event of “no deal”.

In my first few weeks in this role, I have travelled to ports and tarmacs, borders and bridges, all across the UK –from the seaside of Dover to the rolling green hills of County Armagh. I have heard from business owners and border officials, farmers and hauliers. They are ready to put an end to uncertainty. And they are ready to embrace the opportunities ahead.

Our departure from the EU will be a once in a lifetime chance to chart a new course for the United Kingdom. Preparing for that new course will be a herculean effort. But this country has made astounding efforts before. We can do it again.
Rt Hon Michael Gove
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster