Half century of service earns motorsport enthusiast honour

HAVING been involved with motorsport for 55 years, Ralph Freeman will be a satisfied man when he stands down as a board member.

"My term expires in May 2016 and I simply won't be re-standing,'' Freeman, 73, said before his latest Motorcycling Queensland board meeting yesterday.

"The sport is in pretty good hands these days. There's plenty of talent around and fresh ideas and younger people.''

However, as he completes his years of valuable service, Freeman can reflect with pride on his motorsport achievements.

The Boonah-based enthusiast received one of three Service to Sport awards presented in front of 700 people at the Queensland Sport Awards on Monday night.

"To get nominated is quite a reward in itself,'' Freeman said.

"Across the spectrum of the awards given out, having two motorcycle involved people receive awards was fabulous.''

The other MQ winner was Gold Coast-based administrator Mike Findlay.

Freeman started in the sport as a rider in the late 1950s, once finishing second at the state titles.

However, he soon turned his hand to administration and volunteering, devoting half a century to the sport.

"I dare say everyone's got ambition to be a world champion but I never did have that and I realised I never had the talent,'' he said.

"So that's how most people get involved in most sports anyway.''

After completing his electrical fitter and mechanic apprenticeship, he started as secretary of the club, becoming more involved each year.

Freeman served as vice president of the Auto Cycle Union of Queensland (now MQ) in 1971 before later becoming president for 12 years.

He has worked as an official at Queensland, Australian and international events.

That includes being on FIM's Technical Commission and supervising the scrutineering for Asian rounds of the World Superbike Championship.

Freeman's current role involves overseeing the sport across Queensland and mentoring other officials.

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