The Orange Kart Club has awarded Life Memberships to two people who have been contributing to the club for more than three decades – Ross and Jude Preen.
“Well known throughout the whole Karting NSW community, we are very proud to call them ‘ours’ ” the club posted on social media.
“We are thrilled to formally acknowledge their outstanding dedication and voluntary contribution to our Club than has traversed more than three decades.”
from Orange Kart Club
The year was 1995 when their journey into the world of racing began. They decided to become a part of the Orange Kart Club, a decision that would shape their lives in unexpected ways.
In 1997, the club was a Company Limited, and the Preen family was eager to contribute to its growth. Ross embarked on an exciting journey when he was appointed as a Board Member. His enthusiasm and dedication led to his appointment as an OLT Officer. At the Officials’ School, Ross honed his skills and knowledge, which enabled him to serve as a Steward or Clerk of Course at various race meetings. His dedication to these roles remained unwavering until around 2004.
The year 2003 brought a momentous occasion to Orange when the Junior State Championships were held here. Ross played a crucial role in the organisation and smooth running of the event. His commitment to the club extended beyond his official roles, as he willingly stepped in as a Starter and took on any other responsibilities required until about 2008.
In 1997, a critical realisation dawned upon the club’s Board—they were in need of someone to organise race meetings. It was then that they turned to Jude. She was offered the role of Race Secretary, a position filled with responsibilities. Jude took on the task of submitting supplementary regulations, orchestrating the assembly of officials, managing canteen personnel, and handling the procurement of stock for the canteen. On race days, she adeptly transformed into the Secretary of the Meeting, overseeing entry acceptance, lap scoring, and point tallying.
Jude’s dedication to the club did not stop there. She, too, attended the Officials’ School and, from around 1998, took on the role of Steward or Clerk of Course at numerous race meetings in Orange. Her contributions were invaluable, especially during the 2003 Junior State Championships, where she served as a Steward, ensuring the event’s success.
In 2005, the club still retained its status as a Company Limited. It was during this time that John Carpenter, a lawyer and Club Secretary, recognised Jude’s capabilities. He asked her to assist the club in transitioning into an Incorporated Association and to take on the role of Treasurer, a position she held with diligence until around 2008.
The year 2017 marked a pivotal moment for the Orange Kart Club, as Round 1 of the NSW State Championships was set to take place in Orange. In 2016, the club’s Committee members saw the potential of the Preen family and extended an invitation to both Ross and Jude to assist in organising this prestigious event.
Jude’s extensive experience, officiating at all NSW Championships from 1998 to 2010, made her a valuable asset to the club. Both Ross and Jude didn’t shy away from hard work; they were actively involved in track maintenance, painting, and various other tasks required to prepare the racetrack for the grand race meeting. Jude also took charge of arranging accommodation for the officials and ensuring the canteen supplies were well-stocked.
The club recognised Jude’s outstanding organisational skills and dedication and approached her with the additional roles of Treasurer and later Secretary, which she gracefully embraced for a couple of years. In 2022 Ross and Jude spent several days literally on their hands and knees crack sealing the track surface before the new surface was laid. In 2022 and 2023 Ross and Jude officiated and helped out at almost every meeting.
Fast forward to 2023, and Ross and Jude’s commitment to the Orange Kart Club remains as strong as ever. Recently Jude assumed the roles of Treasurer and Race Secretary, ensuring the club’s finances are in good hands and race day logistics will be expertly managed. Ross is a dedicated member of the team helping out as starter, scales marshall, grid marshall and anywhere else he is needed. Together they uphold the very essence of what brought them to the Orange Kart Club in the first place—passion, community, generosity, dedication, and a love for motorsports!