By Jed Lanyon
Lilydale BMX Club is encouraging girls and women to head to the track and try BMX racing for free in May.
President Ian Henderson said the club wanted all schools, youth and community groups to know about the opportunity to try this fun and challenging sport.
“We are inviting females of all ages to come along and try BMX racing and hope that one or two of the sessions will be dedicated to female riders,” he said.
“We’re conscious of the fact many women from early on face different expectations and challenges based on social conditioning and subtle biases and may not initially consider BMX as a sport.”
“Those who are more serious about pursuing it can sign up to undergo the license process and six group coaching sessions.”
Yarra Ranges Council has provided the club with funding through its Grants for Community program to help increase the number of female riders participating in BMX racing.
The sports pathway project starts with the RideIn2BMX Come and Try Day for groups on Saturday 4 May and is open to everyone.
Following the event, the club plans to offer a series of free group coaching sessions with riders’ first mandatory four month license fully paid.
“It’s a little known fact that you need a BMX license to train and compete in the sport, and only about 1500 Victorians have their license,” Mr Henderson said.
“Most people think of BMX as the trick riding that you see in skate parks.
“However, BMX racing is all about negotiating dirt racetracks in a sprint with other riders. It’s fast-paced, energetic and fun.”
Mr Henderson said the club was very family focused and it was still quite common to see parents and their children riding at the same events.
“Being a relatively small sport in Victoria, there is a lot of collaboration and support between clubs, and riders often make life-long friendships through the sport,” Mr Henderson said.
“We have previously hosted coaching sessions aimed at bringing in non-riding female participants such as volunteers, mums and sisters to ride but we want to take this idea further and offer a development pathway program that builds skills and confidence among girls and women who are new to BMX.”
The club is seeking increased memberships for female riders of all ages and to see reoccurring memberships of active riders and more women competing at club, state and national competitions.
For information on Lilydale BMX Club, visit: lilydalebmx.club/ridein2bmx/