OPINION: Is motorsport bad for mental health?

A recent news story inspired Rupert Dorey to put pen to paper. He explains why he thinks motor sport is having a detrimental effect on the island...

ON 6 OCTOBER I noted an article in the Guernsey Press about two local charities (Guernsey Mind and the Guernsey Blind Association) being in receipt of £800 from Guernsey Rally LBG.

I couldn’t help noting the irony of the donation. Guernsey Rally’s activities and other motoring events (hill climbs, sprints, sand racing, rallying, etc.) actively contribute to mental health problems via excessively noisy vehicles contributing to public nuisance and adverse road safety issues as well as environmental degradation, by organising racing through ruette tranquilles and other supposedly peaceful locations.

They hide behind the self-serving facade of it being a popular sport, which they claim promotes tourism in the shoulder months, without ever providing any evidence (typically hiding behind the General Data Protection Regulation facade).

I would wager that for every incoming tourist that comes to Guernsey, a multiple of that are turned away, not just by this highly antisocial activity, but even more importantly, by the culture it fosters of promoting fast and noisy vehicles which are becoming ever more prevalent on our roads.

My wife’s letter in the Guernsey Press on 5 October [Once-peaceful island ruined by noisy vehicles] demonstrated a recent example that illustrated exactly this point.

By donating to charities, Guernsey Rally gain valuable publicity supporting their activity for what are effectively paltry amounts of cash raised, and which contributes to a motor culture that generates adverse cultural outcomes and financial costs for the vast majority of the population, while promoting an activity that will effectively be non-existent with the banning of fossil-fuelled vehicles by 2030.

I believe charities should be more discerning in their choice of sponsors and not give oxygen to fuel what is an almost entirely self-serving activity.

News story of 6 October 2021. (30123688)

How can something that attracts so many participants and spectators be classed as antisocial, asks Guernsey Rally LBG

IT’S disappointing to read such a judgemental and misleading statement against a sport that brings so much enjoyment to many. To also attempt to condemn it with reference to the Guernsey Rally’s fundraising efforts for local charities is disrespectful.

The Guernsey Rally LBG happens to be a totally separate company to that of fellow motorsport clubs in our island. We proudly and successfully organise just one event per year, which happens to be for just a few hours during the month of February. We continue to be fully supportive of all island motorsport activities organised for the many club members and general public’s enjoyment.

Guernsey Rally LBG has no reason to hide behind any such self-service facade when it’s already in receipt of the support and encouragement to make the rally happen each year and it can never be classed as an antisocial activity with the amount of people who either become involved or turn out in cold weather to spectate.

We accept that our once-a-year Guernsey Rally isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but if we can give some enjoyment and something for our community to look forward to, especially when there’s far worse things happening in our world, surely that can only be a good thing.

With regard to our chosen charities, we confirm these are allocated each year for very personal reasons and no matter what amounts of money our efforts raise for them, we’re very proud to be supporting the brilliant work both Guernsey Mind and the Guernsey Blind Association do for our community.

We can only suggest that, while your reader is entitled to an opinion, perhaps they take a moment to look at the work that actually goes into organising any event for our island and the incredible work and support of the charities provided to our islanders.

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