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MSA Academy
Driver Support
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MSA Academy Overview
The MSA Academy provides:  

Young Driver Support

The MSA’s U18 policy sets out the governing body’s position with regard to young competitors and establishes the importance of maintaining their education while competing. The MSA will designate as ‘U18-compliant’ those championships and events that commit to uphold the principles outlined in the MSA’s U18 Policy.

Wherever possible, the MSA will support young competitors in their mainstream education and will seek to ensure that:

  • Time spent out of school for the purposes of motor sport activities is minimised
  • Parents understand the importance of maintaining their child’s education
  • Education takes precedence over motor sport activity
  • Motor sport events do not clash with public exam commitments
  • Competitors under 16 years of age wishing to compete in MSA-sanctioned national championships must have their championship application form counter-signed by their head teacher
  • A supervised ‘quiet area’ is made available for use by students during events

As part of the training and development programme of the MSA Academy, the MSA will deliver a series of Junior Master Classes free of charge to young competitors at selected events.

Junior Master Classes

The Motor Sports Association, in association with the Youth Sport Trust and the Racing Steps Foundation, has created a series of training and development workshops for young drivers.

The Junior Master Classes will introduce to younger drivers some of the concepts involved in the human performance training further up the MSA Academy, for example on the Advanced Apprenticeship and Team UK programmes.

Designed as interactive workshops, the Master Class series will offer five modules for drivers and one for parents, covering the following topics:

  • What does it take: exploring determination and ambition to succeed
  • Talking to Team You: ensuring that the young person is at the heart of the team
  • Goals and planning: where are you going and how will you get there?
  • Fitness for motor sport
  • Eating to win: diet and nutrition
  • Racing Parents: the roles and responsibilities of the support team

The MSA will deliver these workshops free of charge to competitors either at their regular motor sport events or at dedicated training days.

Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence

The Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence (AASE) is a government-funded, performance enhancing course that aims to develop students into elite athletes. It is a part of the MSA Academy initiative and caters for 16 to 18-year old drivers and riders (in conjunction with the Auto-Cycle Union), though candidates of up to 24 years old are considered.

The Advanced Apprenticeship is fundamentally a human performance programme, but because it also recognises the educational learnings of the students, it allows motor sport driving to be a legitimate and responsible career choice.

Students receive three separate qualifications within the AASE framework: a Level 3 NVQ in Achieving Excellence in Sports Performance, a Level 3 BTEC National Certificate in Sport (Performance and Excellence) and an MSA Level 2 Certificate in Coaching Motor Sport. Should they wish, candidates are able to continue studying for their A levels at school in place of the BTEC qualification.

AASE has been running since 2004 and is now active across a range of sports, including football, tennis, golf, athletics and swimming.

Each year a panel will select one member of the AASE programme as the MSA Young Driver of the Year who will attend the MSA Night of Champions in January to receive a trophy and a cheque for £1,000.

If you wish to apply for the next AASE intake, please email: For more information, athletes and parents can download respective AASE leaflets below.

Additional materials:  
AASE overview leaflet  

AASE leaflet for parents  
Team UK

The Motor Sports Association’s Team UK represents the creation of a national squad comprising the country’s most promising drivers, and builds upon experience gained from the MSA’s previous Rally and Race Elite schemes over the past five and three years respectively.

Team UK is a select band of ten drivers at the pinnacle of the MSA Academy - an initiative through which MSA Performance Director Robert Reid guides young drivers from grassroots competition to world championship level.
Team UK is operated by Brabham Performance Clinic, with race and rally coaches providing specific expertise to supplement teachings common to all disciplines. Former grand prix driver and 2009 Le Mans champion David Brabham fulfills the role of National Race Coach alongside the highly experienced, three-times British Rally Champion Mark Higgins as National Rally Coach.

The Team UK programme has been developed in recognition of the MSA Academy’s most focused members, enabling a greater emphasis to be placed on driver coaching and in-car performance within the scheme. Individual fitness plans and dietary consultations ensure that the drivers are in peak physical condition, while the application of advanced sports psychology will equip them mentally to perform at the highest level.

Exclusive visits to Formula 1 factories, World Rally Championship teams and leading component suppliers provide an invaluable insight into the role of professional drivers, as well as access to some of the most sophisticated racing simulation equipment in the world. Finally, support from the FIA Institute’s Motor Sport Safety Fund allows Team UK members to benefit from advanced training in both road and on-track safety skills.


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