For many motor sport fans, the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 is the pinnacle of Australian motor sport. For New Zealand official Shelly McSaveny, it was an opportunity like no other. Recipient of the Virgin Australia Supercars Trans-Tasman Female Officials Exchange program, McSaveny spent the weekend putting her skills and knowledge into practice.
Did you have any expectations before the experience?
I wanted to see what it was like at a major motor sport event to help me get involved at other tracks. I compare the differences between what I do now and how other tracks do things. I wanted to develop my capacity in motor sport and to come to Australia to take this goal of mine one step further.
How did the opportunity help you develop your skills as a CAMS official?
This has been such a fantastic dream come true and an immense opportunity for me as an official. It has given me the confidence to ask to attend future events at different tracks to further extend my knowledge. I was also on a flag point for the first time ever so that was a new experience. The Stewards and Assistant Clerk of Course play a bigger part in a larger event like Bathurst so it was interesting to see that in practice. It was also very different for me not to see the whole circuit from the control tower… my home track is a lot smaller than Bathurst! The sheer number of volunteers was also really pleasing to see and everybody was really friendly.
Overall, what did you think about the Program?
I was buzzing before I went and I am still buzzing now! It was such a fantastic opportunity for me. I highly recommend the Exchange Program to others… it was an amazing experience. I got to observe and be part of many aspects of volunteering and event management that I haven’t yet been exposed to. Seeing how it works on a grander scale really puts things into perspective. In a couple of years or so I would like to look at training to become a Steward. As part of the exchange program agreement with Women in Motor Sport New Zealand and the Women of Australian Motor Sport, Australian program recipient Rebecca Armstrong will lend her officiating skills at this weekend’s Supercars round at Pukekohe.