Any­thing boys can do

Girls take to the Roma track in stel­lar display of women’s mo­tocross

The Western Star - - Sport - Ellen Rans­ley ellen.rans­[email protected]

MO­TOCROSS: When Abbey Morrice’s dance school closed de­cided to pack away her bal­let shoes and put on a hel­met to fol­low her love of mo­tocross.

“Most peo­ple think I got into it be­cause my dad was into it, but I got my­self in,” she said.

“I’m 17 now and have been rid­ing for seven years - it’s such a great sport and I’ve met some great peo­ple.”

Girls and women from across Queens­land com­peted at Roma Mo­tor­cy­cle Club’s Queens­land Women’s and Veter­ans’ Cham­pi­onships on the weekend.

Rid­ing in the se­niors class with Morrice was vet­eran Ta­mara Gray, who took a mo­ment to reflect on how far the sport had come in the 30 years she had been rac­ing.

“I started rac­ing when I was seven, and I’m now 36. It was some­thing I was good at as a kid, and when I first started rac­ing as a se­nior we didn’t even have a women’s class,” she said.

“You were just al­ways in it with the boys and so, by the time the women’s cham­pi­onships started in 2001, I was 17 and I had been do­ing it for­ever and I was good at it.

“I found a home of sud­denly be­ing re­ally com­pe­tent in this new class and I’ve just kept with it, I love it.

“It’s in­cred­i­ble to see how much it has gained mo­men­tum.”

Gray said the rise in ju­nior num­bers was par­tic­u­larly in­spir­ing.

“When it started, there were no ju­niors com­ing up be­hind, but now we have 15–20 rid­ing in those classes and they all ride well, so they’ve ob­vi­ously seen there’s a class for them and they start when they’re young and stay in it,” she said.

“When I was a kid we were rid­ing with the boys and we were never rac­ing to be competitiv­e... but it’s dif­fer­ent now where they can ride against girls who are equal to them.

“We have ju­nior girls now who are so awe­some they dec­i­mate the boys, they just had to be shown there was a place for them.”

PHOTO: ELLEN RANS­LEY

GIRL POWER: (From left) Courtney Ma­her, Jackie Jayce, Jodie Young, Ta­mara Gray, Me­gan Jan­ulis, Abbey Morrice and Paige Thom­son at the Queens­land Women’s and Veter­ans’ Mo­tocross Cham­pi­onships in Roma.

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