OYRC teams set for grand finale



Muscat: The joy of being awarded the prized cup in the inaugural Oman Youth Rally Cup (OYRC) 2013, is now just a few steps away for 32 young Omanis, who this week, enter the final phase of an intensive training and development programme based on motorsport, in which the gruelling rallies provide the ultimate challenge.

Many young Omanis were originally attracted by the launch in early 2013 of a project which uses motor sport as the platform to create road safety youth ambassadors, while also developing future motorsport champions and equally importantly enhancing their future employability through soft skills training.

This unique programme is unlike any other in the Sultanate of Oman. Envisioned by international rally champion Hamed Al Wahaibi, supported by WMS CEO Daryle Hardie and Technical Manager Chris Hodgson, it was developed and executed by the Safety First team led by Chairman Sayyid Nasr Albusaidi and General Manager Anish Kumarswamy.

The project was received very well by both private and public sector organisation across the board, with funding support by the Ministry of Sports Affairs, Oman Oil Company, Sohar Aluminium Company, Salalah Methanol Company, Oman India Fertilizer Company as well as logistical support from Oman Air Cargo and Oman Automobile Association (OAA).

The OYRC showcased how private-public partnerships with a community focussed organisation like Safety First, especially keeping Corporate Social Responsibility agenda in the forefront, can engage with Omani youth to develop human and technical capacity in-country.

The fourth and final round of the Oman National Rally Championship, in which the OYRC teams compete in their own class, will be held in Muscat by the OAA tomorrow.

The teams have worked very hard at not only preparing for the rally but also getting fitter both physically and mentally.

The first winners of the Oman Youth Rally Cup will be decided by a scoring system based not only on rally results, but also by each team's fitness assessments as well as performance during community activities designed to encourage the wider public to become safer drivers.

Natural conclusion
"I'm very happy that this project is coming to its natural conclusion and the support of our partners has been invaluable in ensuring that the first batch of Omani youth have emerged as is evident in their rally performances so far as well as their commitment to enriching themselves through the training on offer from Safety First" said Hamed Al Wahaibi.

"Above all this, the recent decision by His Majesty to dedicate a national day for youth of our nation reinforces the fact that projects of such nature are required in Oman to develop natural talent as well as equip youth with the means to achieve more.

"Of course, the key objective of Safety First which is to make Oman's roads a safer place for all road users has also received a significant boost by the youth ambassadors who are part of OYRC."

A range of high profile motorsports professionals such as multiple Lebanese rally and hill climb champion Abdo Feghali and international rally co-driver, Allan Harryman, along with in-Oman experts such as Dr Kashef Zayed, Sports Psychology professor from Sultan Qaboos University, well known media experts Salim Al Ghelani and Moosa Al Farai, as well as marketing expert Anish Kumarswamy and technical expert Chris Hodgson have been dedicatedly training the youth in developing their soft skills.

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