Put This Injustice Right

I see that Lakes Two Day Trial secretary Mick Wren has recently posted the entry list and start times for the competitors in next month’s trial which will be held as usual in the Cumbrian hills around Broughton-in-Furness. It’s a great weekend, and looking at the rider list, it really is a superb entry with just about anybody who is anybody riding, and I look forward to the event for the weekend is usually fine and mild – which may well now put the mockers on it!

The point of mentioning the trial leads me nicely into the situation regarding Mick Wren. If you’ve read the weekly press you will have seen a letter from Mick, the gist of which I shall outline here.

Mick has been a member of the ACU Trials and Enduro Committee for the past 12 years, and during that time has made a valid contribution to the successful running of events in the UK and has been a well respected ACU official abroad. (The italics refer to my opinion). However, every three years each committee member has to apply for re-election, and in past years the papers applying to be re-elected have been sent to the respective official’s home. That Mick has been re-elected three times indicates to me that he is well respected in the job he does.

For reasons unknown, this year the papers were sent to the local Centre Secretary and the local centre’s ACU National delegate. Unfortunately, the Centre Secretary has recently experienced a personal tragedy and has not been able to attend recent Centre Board Meetings, whilst the National Delegate was not aware he needed to pass the forms on to Mick. Since the Centre Secretary has not been able to attend recent meetings, any relevent paperwork was seen by the Centre President and he reliably informs me that he did not see the application forms.

The application for re-election had to be forwarded to Rugby (the ACU headquarters) by August 31, even though the date of the re-election meeting is not until November, and as Mick’s application had not been received by August 31 (because he had not received it!), he was informed by the ACU General Secretary Gary Thompson MBE BEM that he was too late and could not be considered for re-election.

And that, as I understand it, is where it stands now.

Now, I have no personal reason for plugging Mick Wren to be on the committee, but it seems to me that if an individual has been on the committee for 12 years, and has always been seen to be a staunch advocate of the ACU, and as far as the riders are concerned is a well respected ACU man, why on earth is Rugby consigning a man who has 40 years experience of our sport to the rubbish heap?

What is even more incredible is why, when Mick’s application had not been received, did somebody not ring him to remind him of his lapse or at least ask if he was planning to re-apply.

Not only that, but two days after the date for receipt of applications, Mick was at Rugby for a meeting where I understand he was told by Mr Thompson that he was too late and no consideration could be given to any application as it was over the deadline. That to me, is like kicking somebody when he is already down!

Mick Wren does not expect preferential treatment as he is just one of many unsung stalwarts of the ACU who give freely of their time to further our sport. Indeed, he believes that thrice yearly re-application is necessary, and if he was to lose his application in the normal manner, then so be it And that exactly is my case. These men give freely of their time – they do not do it for the money as there is no significant financial reward in it. If they were paid a wage or even a retainer, then things would be different, but these are volunteers who do it for the love of the sport.

Quite simply, he did not send his application form in because, for reasons totally out of his control, he did not receive it. And that prompts me to ask the question, were the forms deliberately NOT sent to him; has Mick been too vociferous in the past; is there an alternative, preferred candidate in the wings?

Remember, it’s you, the rider that funds the ACU via every trials entry that you pay. We deserve to know more – and rest assured, I would argue this case for ANY member of the committee, as one and all, they are putting time and effort into running our sport; time and commitment that I, and others like me, are not prepared to spend.

They deserve our support, it’s as simple as that.