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I used to be a KA member. I never had problems or saw major issues. Of course I didn’t know anything else. I’ve now been a member of a qld rural club for two years and issues such as favouritism and bullying are rife at my club. The club president has been involved in fist fights with members while there have been incidents of multiple members beating up a single member. Court cases are in progress and innocent members have been banned. Now this sounds a bit like home and away but it’s real. The favouritism shown by the president and some club officials is clearly provable and devastating to many members. For example last Sunday’s race meeting has been promoted as a club day with no championship points available. This info is still available on the club website now. Therefore some members took the day away for whatever reason. But they’ve now been told that there was a vote on the said Raceday to overturn the rules and make it a championship meeting with full points. WHAT? So many drivers have lost their positions in the championship and they weren’t even there to vote. Simply because they followed the rules of the club. Now this apparent vote, I say apparent because I was there on the day but was not aware of the vote, is definitely against club constitution and outside the rules of fairness, sportsmanship and honesty. Don’t be surprised though to know all those drivers accused of receiving special favouritism were there on the day. So independent clubs and their dictators can easily break rules, constitutions and obviously do whatever they like when it suits them. Is this acceptable? Is this what leaving KA means? Does this blatant cheating go on in all clubs?

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Years ago, private practice at a major event, two karts on the main straight, pit entrance on the left. I'm on the left side of the track, other kart on the right side of the track to the front of me. Other driver puts hand in the air and simultaneously brakes / turns hard left toward the pit entrance (too fast to enter pit IMO). I hit the other kart side on, significantly damaging both, nowhere to go, big impact. 

Next thing I know I'm being angrily angrily berated by the Clerk of Course for "driving like a complete xxxxwit". The CC refused to even listen to my version of events, and threatened me with expulsion from the meeting if I didn't "shut the xxxx up". I couldn't believe the rudeness, nor the unreasonable attitude to even listen to what I had to say.

It turned out later that the other driver was a local hot shot with a connection to the CC, I was a blow in from somewhere else...

Regards,

John.

Hi John thanks for sharing that. Sounds like you had no chance. I know the feeling. The presidents favoured ones get ten metre starts in everyone else as well as prior notifications on tech inspections. They can even run multiple engines in a meet. It’s tough out there. Maybe I should just join the club president’s son’s racing team.

Thankfully it was an isolated incident for me, but over the years I've heard a handful of somewhat similar stories re bias, which makes me suspect their are more untold stories 'out there'. 

It wasn't so much what occurred on track that was the big issue for me, shit happens and people make mistakes. It wasn't malicious, just careless and dumb. Having said that, the other driver did try to deflect blame, though just how he thought it not his fault I can't fathom since he didn't even know another kart was just behind him until it hit him as he abruptly crossed from one side of the straight to the other, but then everyone has their subjective perception of an 'event' (unless he did think it was his fault...). 

But, what came afterward was easily the most unpleasant interaction I've ever had at a kart track (never before or since have I been 'in trouble' with any Clerk of Course). This was not an 'official' visit to the CC's office, but a personal confrontation in the pits (itself quite 'unprofessional'). Understand that I was not reactive to the accusation directed at me, I just tried to calmly present my version of events, until it became clear the CC wasn't interested in hearing it ("I don't want to hear any BS excuses"...).

The CC is supposed to be an impartial judge, but in this case was aggresively biased against me for an incident he must not have clearly witnessed personally or only had some person's report of (I choose to think, because if he did witness it clearly then his reaction was not only unfair but actively covering up someone else's mistake, i.e. corrupt behaviour). There were only two karts on the track, with very few other people around and nobody I knew who saw it happen, so witnesses were hard to find (especially ones who might be willing to risk getting on the wrong side of the Clerk of Course...). 

That an official can behave in such a manner demonstrates that they either do not understand the function that they are in position to perform, or, that the individual sees their power as a tool that can be used to the benefit of their mates or protogees. Such things should never occur, but it seems not all that unheard of unfortunately. I'm sure it's not most officials at most tracks. But if bias does occur, then I don't think it's all that easy for a competitor to do much about it. 

Regards,

John.

Thanks again John. That’s hit the nail on the head for me. It’s kinda funny but I feel better knowing it happened to you too. Lol. Not in a cruel way but just because I don’t feel I’m being victimised because I’m weak. It’s just bad people in strong positions being bullies. But I’m looking at an out anyhow. I can’t deal with it anymore. We really just want to race fairly, have fun and enjoy our time. Ipswich and Warwick are two clubs not too far away. Anybody give me some good recommendations about these two clubs. Pm me if you prefer. Many regards.

I can totally recommend either Warwick or Ipswich. My son raced at both clubs many times over the years & we have never had any trouble. One or the other will suit you as Ipswich races on a Saturday/Saturday night (under lights) whereas Warwick  races on a Sunday & is usually finished by mid afternoon. Warwick probably suits the kids better as it is definitely "the friendly place to race". Also both have excellent facilities.

Report your problems to the Office of Fair Trading as they control Associations in Qld.

Thanks on both counts Richard. I appreciate your advice. We will have a visit next race meeting at both tracks. I think I will make a report. Just to get the thing off my chest. Im normally pretty docile but after watching the cheating get worse, the president get bolder and more drivers get affected I just feel so upset. We just want to kart fairly. Regards.

Warwick Karting Club is probably worth joining as a member so you can get cheap practice rates on the Saturday. It is a little difficult telling you about these clubs without knowing where you reside. As a member Ipswich was available from Wednesday to Sunday (9-4) for practice. From memory it was $25 all day, a real bargain & $135 to join. Because we live on the Gold Coast we could get to Ipswich in about 45 minutes.

Usually the Incorporated Associations Act is the place for you to look for breaches by your club Executive.

Thank you Richard. I’m in Toowoomba so probably an hour to Warwick and a tad more to Ipswich. But they both sound good. It’s almost the end of the year so we can start a new year fresh, meet a few new people, say hi to a few old ones and have an exciting 2019. . Thanks everyone for your advice.

It is the Associations Incorporation Act 1981. I always get it arse up!

richard gagie said:

Warwick Karting Club is probably worth joining as a member so you can get cheap practice rates on the Saturday. It is a little difficult telling you about these clubs without knowing where you reside. As a member Ipswich was available from Wednesday to Sunday (9-4) for practice. From memory it was $25 all day, a real bargain & $135 to join. Because we live on the Gold Coast we could get to Ipswich in about 45 minutes.

Usually the Incorporated Associations Act is the place for you to look for breaches by your club Executive.

Thanks Richard.

FWIW, I suspect that many people who engage in behaviour characterised by nepotism, abusiveness, intimidation, etc. may well lack the personal insight to see themselves’ or their behaviour in this light. And then there are just the few bastards who understand clearly what they are doing, and do it anyway.


Such behaviour is IMO a form of bullying. Inability to empathise or care about how their actions may affect other people is notable, as is the tendency to put their own interests and those of their ‘allies’ before any other obligation (allies interests being entwined with their own). These are characteristics of the sociopath, and the people who display such behaviour are likely to be somewhere on the ‘antisocial personality disorder’ spectrum...


They are out there in all walks of life, and can come across as ‘normal’, possibly quite charming and likeable people, until they think they can get away with something without being held to public account.


Such people are often relatively intelligent (‘high functioning’ but still pathological) and might be disproportionately represented in positions of some authority (e.g. Clerk of Course, POTUS, etc...), but can be damaging to be involved with, and hard to completely avoid. “Mad, bad, and dangerous to know” (as Byron was famously described, probably a sociopath...).


Regards,
John.

Thanks Professor JOHN. Accurate and relevant analysis. You sound like a very clever person. Experience does that to us. Many thanks 

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