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black11s

Original Poster:

237 posts

126 months

[news] 
Tuesday 2nd October 2012 quote quote all
Hi guys (and girls),

I'm looking to tap in to the limitless source of knowledge, wisdom and understanding that is the PistonHeads Forum.

Basically, to set the scene, I am a keen amateur racing driver. (Realistically) I'm not the next Lewis or Jenson, but I absolutely love it, the way only a racing driver really understands.
As you would imagine, having a 10 year old son who is as obsessed by cars and motorsprt as I am, I take him karting regularly, and he races in an arrive and drive series operated by Daytona, out of their Esher circuit.

(Off topic, but for any SW London based parents out there, I can't speak highly enough of the championship they run: the quality, and more importantly, equality of the karts, value for money, professionalism, etc etc)

However I have a dark cloud looming on the horizon, in the shape of my ex-wife. Generally we still get on very well, however, she absolutely hates, despises, and can't begin to fathom, motorsport. She has been reasonably understanding about young Dan's fledgling motorsport career to date, with only the odd wobble along the way. This (last) weekend however, she decided to come along to the track to watch the racing, and as luck would have it, on one of the very few times she was watching, there was a nasty little accident in one of my son's heats, where a kid ended up in the tyre barrier and was flung out of his kart.
Obviously, as a fellow parent, it is the last thing any of us want to see, however, the kart was only doing 20 mph or so, and after 20 mins the ambulance still hadn't arrived, (although occasionally ambulances are slow to arrive, 99% of the time, if it is a serious accident involving a child they are there within 3 minutes) so we knew it probably wasn't too bad. Certainly, by the way the kid's Dad was hovering above him, although worried, he didn't look horrified.

My big mistake seems to have been a flippant comment to one of the other parents that she overheard. Compounded by one of the other dads telling his son, "No you can't have a bloody rib protector. You don't need one. Next thing you'll be asking for is a roll cage!". That in particular pretty much pushed her over the edge!!!

Anyway, as you can imagine, my ex-wife then had a meltdown in the viewing area, and is seriously unhappy about Dan continuing.
Now, we all know there are some risks involved in motorsport. We all accept that, and if we're honest, it adds to the exhileration.

My question (finally I get to the point) is do any of you know, or have access to statistics that show how many injuries there are in motorsport compared to horse riding, rugby, football, tennis, lacrosse, etc etc.
I know as well as the rest of you, that its going to be vastly lower than the other sports I've just mentioned, but I need to present her with some cast iron proof that I'm not risking the life of my only son and heir!!!

Thanks in advance for all replies.

geeks

861 posts

25 months

[news] 
Tuesday 2nd October 2012 quote quote all
Showing her that there are less accidents in other sports wont really help... For what its worth, I am 27 and my mother cant stand the idea of me racing. Motorsport is dangerous, a mother worries about her child, you cant change any of this. The only thing i would suggest is showing her he is as well protected as you can make him, all the safety gear you can buy is a good start but ultimately you may never change her mind about this... It took Bruno Sennas family 10 odd years after Ayrtons death for them to let him go racing...

black11s

Original Poster:

237 posts

126 months

[news] 
Tuesday 2nd October 2012 quote quote all
I'm 36, and my Mum still won't even watch me race when its on TV!

But our parent's generation were used to seeing people killed in motorsport all the time.
Thankfully it's now incredibly rare.

belleair302

5,062 posts

93 months

[news] 
Tuesday 2nd October 2012 quote quote all
Contact Formula Kart Stars who run the MSA Cadet Championship and speak with Carolynn Hoy. She is probably the most informed person regarding karting in the UK and spends her life at kart tracks and with young drivers.

CocoUK

576 posts

68 months

[news] 
Tuesday 2nd October 2012 quote quote all
Quite disappointing that the ambulance took so long.


Can I ask if Dan understands that motorsport is dangerous?


I think we may struggle to find 'cast iron proof' as it's a fairly 'incomparable' set of numbers were looking for as there are so many factors to take into account.
I've had a quick look around for any comparison reports, nothing comes up other than horse-riding & cheerleading(!) being the most dangerous.


Being a mum she will inevitably want to wrap him up in cotton wool, the fact that she 'hates, despises, and can't begin to fathom, motorsport' is a feeling that sounds unlikely to change, no matter what statistics you present? Does Daytona or another karting venue have a person of contact for such a situation(!), this must be a fairly common occurance amongst young drivers.

As geeks commented, protecting Dan with all reasonable means possible and Dan demonstrating that he maturely understands & accepts the dangers is possibly a good course of action.
Plus clearly showing that enjoying a sport such as motor-racing can bring many, many positives & skills to a childs life that other hobbies do not offer.
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StevieBee

4,734 posts

141 months

[news] 
Tuesday 2nd October 2012 quote quote all
I believe that more people are killed fishing in the UK than in any other sport or pastime.


covboy

1,728 posts

60 months

[news] 
Tuesday 2nd October 2012 quote quote all
Somewhere in the dim and distant past, I read that injuries (and fatalities unfortunately) in equestrian events far outweighed those in Motorsport.

From a personal point of view having been involved in Motorsports for (well) over thirty years now, I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of fatalities I’ve had direct contact with, and serious injuries amount to about one a year.

(Based on roughly thirty days a year )

Purely personal stats you understand

Hoofy

56,135 posts

168 months

[news] 
Tuesday 2nd October 2012 quote quote all
There's only one option. You need to have another child with your ex-wife. nuts

Seriously, though, you can't stop someone enjoying such a pastime. If your son enjoys it, then to stop him would cause a lot of resentment (so you should let your ex-wife break the news to him biggrin ). "Sorry, we've decided you can't race any more as it's too dangerous - here's a non-toxic crayon set for you to play with instead!"

Such a circuit will have very good health and safety procedures so accidents are very unlikely. They still happen, of course.

black11s

Original Poster:

237 posts

126 months

[news] 
Tuesday 2nd October 2012 quote quote all
Hoofy said:
There's only one option. You need to have another child with your ex-wife. nuts
I've already told him I'm considering getting a spare!

black11s

Original Poster:

237 posts

126 months

[news] 
Tuesday 2nd October 2012 quote quote all
Belleair - Will do, thanks for the contact.
CocoUK - I totally agree. He's a very mature 10 yr old (sometimes a little too mature) so he's well aware of the risks involved. Like with the rest of us, its just a risk worth taking. To live a life devoid of excitement and fun is a waste of a life.

So anyway, to sum up so far, the main advice is to tell the ex that she should be counting herself lucky I haven't got him into dressage, cheerleading or fishing...

This is why I love PistonHeads :-)

shoestring7

4,952 posts

132 months

[news] 
Tuesday 2nd October 2012 quote quote all
Good luck with this, its a situation that is not going to be something that can be fixed, only managed.. Her worries for her son will be entirely emotionally founded, and probably mixed up with whatever she thinks about you. Whatever it is, any logical argument based on the quantifiable dangers of karting will be a complete waste of time, as far as she's concerned you're an irresponsible father putting her son in mortal danger to fulfil your own vicarious needs.

All I can suggest is that the child in question makes it very clear that it is he that wants to do it, that he loves karting, and that you are seen to take all possible precautions in the way of safety gear, and probably limit the amount of karting he does.

SS7

geeks

861 posts

25 months

[news] 
Tuesday 2nd October 2012 quote quote all
black11s said:
Belleair - Will do, thanks for the contact.
CocoUK - I totally agree. He's a very mature 10 yr old (sometimes a little too mature) so he's well aware of the risks involved. Like with the rest of us, its just a risk worth taking. To live a life devoid of excitement and fun is a waste of a life.

So anyway, to sum up so far, the main advice is to tell the ex that she should be counting herself lucky I haven't got him into dressage, cheerleading or fishing...

This is why I love PistonHeads :-)
Actually you seem to have glossed over the sensible advice people seem to have offered you! confused

Rude-boy

18,833 posts

119 months

[news] 
Tuesday 2nd October 2012 quote quote all
geeks said:
Actually you seem to have glossed over the sensible advice people seem to have offered you! confused
The chap races FunCup, no wonder she is worried wink

Seriously it is a dangerous sport and there is no point in going down the route of telling her how it is safer than x or y. In any event when he does hurt himself (which he will at some point to a degree if he is actually trying and is at it for long enough) you will have all that thrown back at you and more.

All sport has an element of danger to it, and that is what she should be made aware of, not that motorsport in fluffy and safe, but that just as much as son could get hurt in a kart he could split his head open on a goal post.

Ultimately you will just have to let her fall into line with some gentle assistance or let her be the one who tells son he has to stop karting and then deal with the fall out from that. Don’t go behind her back though as you will lose your balls if she finds out.

FWIW when my brother was racing mum hardly ever went to the track. I’m glad I wasn’t the one who had to call her the day he punched a hole in the wall at Donington

Richard-G

1,223 posts

61 months

[news] 
Tuesday 2nd October 2012 quote quote all
If she's attractive, I could date her and fill her head with pro Motorsport propoganda. A double pronged attack if you will...

belleair302

5,062 posts

93 months

[news] 
Tuesday 2nd October 2012 quote quote all
Just be thankful he doesn't take up kickboxing, motorcycling (motocross or X-Games) rugby or want to join the Parachute Regiment or SAS!!

megamaniac

884 posts

102 months

[news] 
Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
Tell her(get him to ask her) he's been asking about a motocross bike,karting will seem the lesser of two evils.

Altrezia

7,472 posts

97 months

[news] 
Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
Can't help, but wife and I have just been chatting about this for 20 minutes. Hard situation. In the end we both decided that we would _not_ try and stop our child from karting (or any other sport) if they wanted to do it - just keep them informed of the risks and give them the best possible kit to do it with.

Best of luck convincing your ex!

Mr_Thyroid

1,010 posts

113 months

[news] 
Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
belleair302 said:
Just be thankful he doesn't take up kickboxing, motorcycling (motocross or X-Games) rugby or want to join the Parachute Regiment or SAS!!
Or Skiing or golf.

Apparently serious golf related head injuries are relatively common although it is not clear whether the injury is likely to occur on the golf course or outside a pub.

black11s

Original Poster:

237 posts

126 months

[news] 
Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
megamaniac said:
Tell her(get him to ask her) he's been asking about a motocross bike,karting will seem the lesser of two evils.
Funnily enough, the ex still doesn't know he's been on the back of a bike!
Motocross is actually next on the list of things to try out!

black11s

Original Poster:

237 posts

126 months

[news] 
Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
Richard-G said:
If she's attractive, I could date her and fill her head with pro Motorsport propoganda. A double pronged attack if you will...
She's married an opera singer guy without a drop of petrol in the blood :-(
He drives an old 1.6 Astra diesel, with a roof box...

I've get no help in that department.
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