Kingdom Off Road Motorcycle Club has been recognised for its outstanding work in community sport by being named as Local Club of the Year at the Sunday Mail sportscotland Scottish Sports Awards on December 7.
Since its inception the Fife club has gone all out to give motorbike enthusiasts a safe and controlled environment, helping to reduce bike-related crime in the area while introducing the sport to many new members.
With the help of National Lottery direct club investment from sportscotland, and Scottish Motorsports, KORMC has now taken on a coach to encourage youngsters at school to get involved in motorsport through free introduction sessions.
David Paton, club programme coordinator, admitted it was great to see the club’s work for members and its local community recognised.
He said: “Kingdom Off Road was formed in response to a community crisis, I guess; there were so many young people within Levenmouth, Kennoway, Methil areas running about the streets on off-road motorcycles without any helmets causing themselves danger.
“There were accidents and incidents but it was also causing a lot of injuries to other people.
“We are absolutely ecstatic to win this award. Most of our work is done by committed volunteers who put in so much work for the young people. When we talk about sport we don’t think about motorsport, there is very little recognition of the fitness and dedication required to perform.
“Thanks to sportscotland’s direct club investment we have been able to employ a coach who will be going into high schools to encourage even more young people to get involved in the sport.”
David and his team have set out to change the negative perception of motorcyclists within their local communities. Their commitment has helped towards a steady decrease in bike-related crime in the Fife area and their 12-week programmes offer youngsters lessons in life beyond the sport.
Club member Benn Sweet is relishing the environment the club has created, saying it is where he wants to spend all his free time now.
Benn said: “Before I was going down the beach, up to the woods. This has changed that. I just come here now. I'm getting a bike at Christmas and I'm going to start racing.”
David revealed the Local Club of the Year award was not the only recognition KORMC have had; they continually receive good feedback from the police for the work they do in bringing down motorcycle-related crime and helping young people in the Fife area.
He added: “For motorcycling there are very few places which weren’t supported. So we set about creating somewhere for young people and motorcycle enthusiasts. A few years on we realised there was a need for a more structured approach to help offenders who were not able to get to the track and ended up running about the streets on their motorbikes.
“At that point we went about devising a 12-week programme that looked at more than just sport, it looked at group work on specific topics, such as victim perspective and accidents and incidents. We also look at the consequences of breaking the law.
“Year on year, we get feedback from the police that our work is having a positive impact.
"We are not curing the problem but we are certainly giving them more options going forward."
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