I recently competed in the Northern California Sectional School Bus Roadeo, held in Sacramento. While I was sitting under a shade tree, (Trying to calculate my score!!), I took a good look around. I noticed that there was an overwhelming atmosphere of encouragement and support for all who were there participating in the roadeo.

I saw people walking around handing out these cute little candy flags that said “Good Luck to All Roadeo Contestants”, (yes I got one!!). I noticed quite a large crowd gathered at the starting line, and they were cheering every contestant who entered the course. (They had pom poms & picket signs wishing good luck.). I noticed that every one seemed to be smiling………..

I was suddenly being surrounded by large groups of people who were gathering to await the awards presentation. (There were over 200 people there!) But wait there was one more event. This one was for the mechanics and shop truck event. I joined in as everyone cheered the contestants on as they changed the front tire on a bus (a simulated breakdown) it took a whopping 5 minutes, very impressive!

Finally the time had come. The scores were tallied and the trophies were in place it was time to award the winners. There were a total of 27 awards. 21 based on the highest scores for their category, one highest Novice score (A novice is a new driver who is competing for their first time within the first 2 years of their drivers certificate.), 3 for highest team total, (Teams are 3 drivers from the same employer- unfortunately I did not have a team, Maybe next year). One for best represented shop truck (there’s alot more to this one than just a good-looking truck!).

The last award,” The Best Represented Award”- This award recognizes the whole organization for it’s hard work, dedication, positive attitude, and professionalism. It’s also designed to recognize the many efforts of all of those involved including the administration, dispatchers, mechanics, drivers and their families.

As the awards were handed out, there was so much enthusiasm coming from the crowd, I thought to myself how truly proud I was to be a member of this profession. I would like to encourage all of you to participate at some level at least once. Not only would it give you a great sense of pride, it would also sharpen your driving skills and depth perception, especially during backing maneuvers!

A final thought… Before I left for this road-eo, I had said that this would be my last one (I lied!), I will be there again, next year.

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