Keith Gault, long-time committee member of Enniskillen Motor Club (EMC) has claimed the very prestigious MSA Volunteer Marshal of the Year 2016 award in the individual category.

Keith, who was proposed by the Motorsport Marshalling Partnership (MMP) here in Northern Ireland, was very excited and surprised to receive the award as he had no idea that MMP had put his name forward!

The Motor Sports Association (MSA) is the sole national governing body for 4-wheel motor sport in the UK, as recognised by the world governing body the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA).

The MSA is a not-for-profit organisation (limited by guarantee) comprising around 750 affiliated clubs which are represented by 13 Regional Associations nationwide.

In Northern Ireland EMC is affiliated to the Association of Northern Ireland Car Clubs ANICC. Keith will have to travel to the award ceremony in London in January to pick up his award. All at EMC and the wider rallying fraternity in Fermanagh wish him well for his big day.

Gault’s award – a first for an EMC member, comes after a lifetime of interest in motor sport and rallying in particular.

Keith is a long-time committee member of EMC and is one of two committee members representing the club on MMP. Keith has been to the fore in marshalling on rallies in recent years undertaking such varied roles as Marshal and Sector Marshal on local EMC events and across the whole island volunteering in Monaghan, Cavan, Donegal Down and Sligo as well as on international events like the Circuit of Ireland, The Ulster Rally and Donegal International.

Locally, as well as Sector Marshal for Omagh Motor Club’s Spring Rally and Bushwhacker Rally he has also been Chief Marshal on EMC’s May Day Stages Rally, Lakeland Stages Rally and Rally Time Trial. He is also one of EMC’s team of Timekeepers and Marshals who travel the length and breadth of N Ireland to officiate at Autotest and Targa Rallies.

Keith has a well-deserved reputation for good humour and going the extra mile [including bringing along his trusty barbeque for service time snacks] to ensure any event he is involved with has an abundance of personnel. He has attended all training necessary to become an MSA licensed Marshal and using his contacts in MMP has assisted in facilitating ongoing training for EMC members via the MMP – most recently in the use of fire extinguishers at the scene of an accident. Gault is also renowned for coming up with some zany rally-oriented prizes for marshals he has enlisted to help on rallies.

For example he has handed out a rear bumper from Frank Kelly’s famous Baby Blue MkII Escort – signed by Frank and he has also handed out pictures of Max Vatanen signed by both Max and his world famous Dad, Ari! So, a well-deserved award for this rally clubman who was just one of six individuals to be recognised nationally by the MSA in 2016.

Interestingly in the Club Category EMC itself was awarded ‘Highly Commended’ status – and whilst not in the overall three awards are just one of only three clubs who received this award out of a total of some 105 entries and nominations across the two main categories- Individual and Club.