The first ever SMS Academy session took place at Knockhill Racing Circuit on 18 October.
2001 World Rally Champion, Robert Reid, kicked off proceedings with a delivery on the aims and objectives of the SMS Academy. This part of the day was delivered to both parents and the athletes to help build an understanding of the coaching process and to help build an understanding of what the athletes can expect to gain out of the SMS Academy programme.
The remainder of the day was led by SMS Academy coaches, Blair Brown and Malcolm McNab. It saw them deliver sessions on Performance profiling and sponsorship. The Performance Profiling session encouraged the athletes to reflect upon their own performance to date in order to help them identify their strengths and weaknesses. From there, the coaches will help them to build their own bespoke profile to highlight their development priorities over the next 12 months; this document will be continually reviewed and developed at SMS Academy sessions. The sponsorship session helped to build the athletes understanding of where to find sponsors, how to approach them and what to offer sponsors in order to provide them with a real return on investment.
SMS Academy athlete and Scottish Mini Cooper Cup racer, Emily Glanville, commented:
"I thoroughly enjoyed the first SMS Academy session held at Knockhill. I learnt a vast amount about sponsorship, performance profiling and different learning methods I can use to improve my on-track performance. The workshops helped me to clarify my strengths and weaknesses in time for the 2018 season. I am looking forward to putting what I have leant into practice over the winter break. It was also lovely to meet the other Academy members and widen my knowledge about other motorsport disciplines."
The next SMS Academy session is due to take place on 27 January at Knockhill, where the athletes will be taking part in a workshop on fitness, nutrition and hydration.