What an amazing year it has been!
Western Australia is seeing increasing numbers of women and girls out riding their motorbikes, enjoying themselves, meeting like minded people and venturing into the competitive side of the sport in all the disciplines.
The Motorcycling Western Australia Women's committee has worked hard to continue to advocate and support increased opportunities for women and girls with a range of initiatives which has resulted in the committee being recognised by the International Federation of Motorcycling (FIM). The MWA W committee was awarded the FIM Women in Motorcycling Award at a gala ceremony in Andorra in November. This international recognition is testament not only to the work undertaken by the committee, but to the many women and girls who participate, the clubs and volunteers who support the initiative and the organisation who have recognised the need to support women to be given more opportunities. We look forward to continuing our work in years to come.
During 2017 the committee held several ride days which were hugely successful and culminated with the Chain Reaction Moto Girls interclub held this year at Byford Motocross track. A new initiative to recognise our up and coming riders was the 65 cup which was hotly contested with a final le mans style race. Congratulations to our inaugural winner Leah Rimbas. Thankyou to all the clubs who support the women and look out for more ride days coming in 2018.
Annual Awards 2017
Once again the MWA W were overwhelmed with the number and quality of the nominations for the annual awards recognising women in the sport,both as riders and behind the scenes as volunteers, officials and administrators. This year we were proud to award the Rider Award to Jemma Merrylees for her outstanding achievements in the ATV discipline with several national championships to her credit. The volunteer award was won by Maureen Davey who has been a volunteer with the Historic Road Racing community for many years and is highly regarded by all in the sport. Congratulations to both.
Enduro, Trials, Speedway, MX and Supermoto all continued to support the growth of women in the sport and let us know about the exciting racing during the year. Keep the stories coming !
The WAMX MX state titles saw some hotly contested racing over the 4 rounds. Thanks to those who participated in the recent survey in relation to the MX state rounds, the promoter has listened to the riders and the women will be competing at every round in 2018, 6 rounds for the women!
In 2017 we saw some amazing national achievements from our WA women and girls. Brooke Hollins came home with not one national title in the ATV Australian championships, but two! Brooke is the first female to ever win dual national championships in ATV. TJ O’ Hare completed her junior days by taking out the MX Australian junior girls Championship taking five wins from five races. TJ’s hard work and dedication is showing amazing results as she progresses into the senior ranks in 2018.
MWA W do a lot of fundraising during the year to put money back into the sport and one of those areas is the national support program. This year the committee were able to offer support to the women travelling to the MX Nationals in Coolum where WA had an amazing 11 entrants in the field of 31. Truly amazing for our state. The women were also supported by Neill Dunne with transport of their bikes and equipment, thanks Neill. The racing was intense over the weekend, Chelsea Blakers coming home with a broken collarbone, the Bagnal girls having some highs and lows, Lily Kent riding with an injured foot but still consistent and Jess Moore, continued to inspire all coming away with second overall. A great campaign by all WA women for the weekend!
Recently Supermoto Australian Championship was held in WA which was great to be on home soil. Again WA fielded a strong line up of women to contest the title which saw Jess Boujos take wins in every heat to take out back to back national titles and Chelsea Blakers take second position on the podium.
Dirt High Manjimup
For the first time in its history, the iconic Dirt High Manji 15000 introduced a womens class to the event in 2017. Willie Thompson recognised the growth of women’s participation in the sport and together with the race sponsor WA Assett –The Bathroom Renovator, put together one of the most exciting races of the year. It was fantastic to see 29 women line up on the gates for the inaugural race which didn’t disappoint. We look forward to this event getting bigger and better every year.
The Future, 2018 and beyond, our 2020 vision!
The MWA W committee continue to dedicate their time to supporting the growth and recognition of women and girls who love to ride their motorbikes, either competitively or just for fun. Our long term goal is to continue to advocate for women in the sport and to see continued growth in participation.
Some of our plans for 2018 are to:
continue to hold our Moto Girls ride days and extend this to other disciplines
support the development of our riders by offering coaching clinics in as many disciplines as we are able to
continue to fund raise to offer national championship support
support the growth of iconic events such as Manji and aim for high profile support of the event
A garage day – workshop to support women to learn basics of bike maintenance
Continue to raise the profile of women in the sport with regular media stories, rider profiles and behind the scenes series, highlight the women volunteering behind the scenes
Finally, thankyou to all the women and girls and their supports who attend our programs and help out on the day. Thankyou to all the clubs who are willing to work with us in holding the events and thankyou to the committees who are now regularly scheduling in women’s classes to their race days. Thankyou to the sponsors and promoters who are recognising the value in supporting women in the sport and are offering increased opportunities to women and girls.
The success of our program is due to the commitment and support of everyone involved throughout the state and we would like to say thankyou.
Dont forget to get in touch and let us know your ideas, we would love to hear them. Catch up with us at the track and let us know what things are important, what we can do differently and also, what is going great so we can share it.
We would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and look forward to seeing you all out there in 2018!
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