As a sponsor of Northern Ireland’s annual Cornmarket Motorbike Awards RPS Managing Director Northern Ireland Michael Shaw and RPS Belfast Marketing Manager Stephen Henderson recently had the opportunity to attend the event and present the event’s Hall of Fame Award.
RPS’ Belfast office continues to provide many services to motorcycle racing from planning, project management and Structural Engineering across race and road circuits in Northern Ireland. While many parts of the UK banned road races, Northern Ireland remains one of only a few areas globally where this racing is permitted on closed public roads, and it continues to attract hundreds of thousands of spectators each year adding a vital contribution to the overall Northern Ireland economy and to localised economies.
Newly crowned two times World Superbike champion Jonathan Rea was in attendance along with 600 guests, local business, politicians and media to celebrate the achievements of our local sporting talent. As the Ballyclare rider accepted the Trophy for Irish Motorcyclist of the year he announced: "This is huge. To have the public support me the way they do even though I'm racing far from home is an honour and I thank all those who took the time to vote for me. To be awarded this amazing trophy for the second year in a row is very humbling." Jonathan is one of only two riders to earn the accolade twice in a row, and previously achieved the title twice in 2007-8 also.
Stormont Minister Paul Givan and Ian Paisley Jnr, both in attendance at the event, announced the release of capital investment to further improve on best practice safety in the sport, saying: "It is important that we do what we can to make these events as safe and memorable an experience for everyone and this substantial funding will contribute to that. It will go towards helping to improve the safety of the course for competitors and spectators alike."
As part of the RPS Belfast office’s Corporate and Social Responsibility, Stephen Henderson volunteers his time to two charities, both of which had been selected as the charity partners for the event. The evening raised almost £7,000 for Air Ambulance Northern Ireland (Board member) and F13K Cancer (a campaign run on behalf of Marie Curie).
Three times world champion and Motocross legend Gordon Crockard accepted the Hall of Fame Award from RPS and was inducted into the RPS Group Hall of Fame. Crockard is heavily involved in global motorsport and oversees the Honda European series as well as sitting as part of the Honda Management Team on the world stage.
The night is hosted by former World Grand Prix rider turned commentator Keith Huewen and BBC NI's Stephen Watson, the programme is to be aired on Setanta (Eir) Sports and Eurosport over the coming weeks.