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Highland Snowman Rally chief medical officer receives Jim Clark Memorial Award

Highland Snowman Rally chief medical officer receives Jim Clark Memorial Award

This year's Ford-supported Jim Clark Memorial Award has been presented to Highland Snowman Rally chief medical officer Dr John Harrington.

The Association of Scottish Motoring Writers awarded him the prize in recognition of his work raising medical standards and improving safety at rallies for almost 30 years.

Dr Harrington, who has been the Inverness event's chief medical officer since 1987, started volunteering at a time when a doctor was required simply to be within a reasonable distance of rally stages.

The GP began applying his medical expertise and keen interest in the sport to the safety planning of rallies, ensuring that medical and recovery teams worked closer when preparing for rallies.

Today he recruits new doctors and paramedics to the Scottish Motorsport Marshals Club, runs medically-related training for marshals and is a Motor Sports Association international training instructor.

He said: "New medics benefit from our excellent emergency medicine courses on advanced life support, for example, which most would have to do for their careers anyway, and this helps them gain confidence outside of the hospital environment.

"For me, this kind of contribution and improving links between motorsport and the local emergency services has become a hobby and an extra-curricular interest. For it to be publicly recognised with the Jim Clark Award is both a personal honour and a tribute to the skilled safety and rescue teams we have on Scottish rallies."

Alisdair Suttie, Association of Scottish Motor Writers President, said: "At a time when rally safety is in the spotlight, we were especially pleased to present this year's Jim Clark Memorial Award to a medically-qualified winner. Dr Harrington demonstrates the planning and preparation that goes into motorsport events, the high levels of expertise available to competitors and the professionalism which swings into action when required."

by: Danielle Bagnall