True Heroes Racing
August 30, 2012 A 'heads-up'
‘True Heroes Racing’ is the brain child of a serving Royal Navy sailor who has been lucky enough to return from several Tours of Duty in Afghanistan uninjured. After working with a number of injured UK Service personnel on motorsport charity events Phil Spencer decided to try and use competitive motorsport as a way of restoring a sense of direction and focus for our injured UK Service personnel and earlier this year ‘True Heroes Racing’ was formed.
One thing has always been apparent to anyone who has met an injured Service person and that is the medical support and assistance they receive in the UK is second to none, and the positive mental attitude and focus on recovery and medical rehabilitation that they have is phenomenal. Unfortunately, due to the nature and severity of the injuries many of these individuals have suffered a career in the military is no longer an option once they reach the end of their medical rehabilitation.
It is at this point of their recovery that a loss of direction and a realisation of the severity of their situation really hits home. Repeatedly I have heard from injured personnel that they thought the military would be their career for life and suddenly they don't know what to do. For them the future can quickly become a very dark place.
It was this lack of direction and focus that led me to the concept of ‘True Heroes Racing’. What the project aims to do is to be able to use the world of motorsport to firstly, prove to these individuals and the wider community that they can compete on a level playing field with their able bodied counterparts within the fast, often frenetic and pressurised environment of top level motorsport. An environment with pressures and timelines not unlike their military deployments to Afghanistan, yet an environment that most Service personnel have little or no involvement with even before they suffer their injuries. Secondly, to use all aspects of motorsport to provide members of the project retraining and qualification opportunities, this could hopefully lead to future career options outside of the military.
Every project has to start somewhere and I chose to prove the ability of these injured Service personnel in the more difficult racing field of motorcycle road racing. If these guys can show the world they can do it on 2 wheels, it shows anything else is possible!!!
To that end a motorcycle race team has been formed consisting, as far as practically possible, of injured Service personnel. The team is formed around a rider, who is a double amputee below the knee, but has been granted an unrestricted race licence by the Auto Cycle Union (ACU). He is supported technically by two other injured Servicemen, who both have severe life changing injuries affecting limbs, and the team has one able bodied Serviceman who's role is assist the two technicians with the tasks they physically are unable to complete by themselves.
The team have already spent time working with professional race teams gaining real time race experience, and the rider recently completed his first track test session on the Triumph Daytona 675R motorcycle the team have prepared for racing in the remainder of the 2012 season . The team are about to compete in their first live race event at Castle Coombe, and it is hoped that during the remaining stages of the 2012 club racing season they will be able to gain enough experience and race finishes to be able to progress into the national forum of the British Superbike (BSB) paddock for 2013. The plan is to compete in the 2013 Triumph Triple Challenge, which is the leading single manufacture motorcycle race championship in the UK and is a support race at the widely regarded best domestic motorcycle championship in the world.
How can you help?
Competing in any form of motorsport at any level is an expensive business. True Heroes Racing are looking for further sponsors to assist the project in its initial stages with the 2012 and 2013 motorcycle race team, but also in the longer term where it is hoped we will be able to compete in all forms of motorsport at a high level. The plan is also to expand the project into other areas of motorsport that are outside of the direct racing, and be able to offer experience and training in areas such as catering, hospitality, transport, media which could lead to injured Service personnel starting new careers.
What can you expect in return for support?
In return for sponsorship of this project a number of opportunities will be available to supporting companies and individuals. Obviously, the level of sponsorship offered will dictate the level of recompense from the team, but there will be opportunities including:
- company branding on the race bike,
- rider's leathers,
- race team vehicles,
- race team clothing,
- branding and links on the race team website etc.
There will also be opportunities for sponsors to be offered tickets to attend Club and BSB Championship race events around the UK, meet the team up close and receive a personal introduction to motorcycle racing at the highest level within the UK. Obviously, competing in a support race at the biggest and most prestigious motorcycle championship within the UK also attracts television coverage, both LIVE and highlights, and company branding for sponsors can only benefit from this marketing opportunity and exposure. There are also regularly over 35,000 spectators at a BSB race weekend, who have the opportunity to see the teams both on and off the track, which will also increase sponsor's brand awareness and highlight their support for this worthwhile project. Sponsors would also be able to use their support for this team to benefit their own local and national PR through company websites, press releases, team visits etc.
Clearly in some ways this team will be unique when compared to other mainstream motorsport sponsorship. The most important difference I see is that companies are being given the opportunity to make a real difference to the lives of these individual, who have suffered some appalling injuries in the name of security for this country.
I hope this has given you an insight into the ‘True Heroes Racing’ project and answered some of the questions you may have.
If you are interested in finding out more or assisting the project in any way please don't hesitate to contact me on the e–mail address below, or just show your support by following us on facebook.