Girls to gun it



WOMEN with a penchant for high speed two-wheeling will have a chance to hone their motocross skills in a female exclusive training day at Traralgon Motorcycle Club.

A beginner’s riding course will be staged by the club on 22 June to address a gap in training for women over the age of 16, who no longer qualify for junior development.

The initiative was sprung when Leanne Mansell sought a club marshal at a junior development day to enquire about women’s coaching, only to find it lacking locally.

Coincidentally, the marshal she approached was club coach Mark Ludlow, who took up the cause and offered his services as one of up to eight trainers on the day.

“(Watching the juniors I was) contemplating what it might be like if I had the opportunity to jump on there myself and practice,” Mansell said.

“It is more of a hobby for me, I guess a little bit of insight into the racing aspect provides motivation and something to look forward to down the track.”

Mansell currently rides with her partner and his son, and was searching for a change of pace to better learn the intricacies of the sport.

“We’re doing a lot of bush riding, and… it’s an opportunity to slow down a little bit and practice some skills without the pressure of needing to keep up and concentrate on what’s right in front of me,” she said.

“We’re looking at a more relaxed environment but still officiated by qualified coaches from the motorcycle club.

“I’m just looking forward to meeting some other people in the local area that are riding and developing my relationship with the club a little bit further, and I’m also excited about developing my own skills.”

Ludlow said women who attended the day would get quality tuition in a session tailored to individual skill levels.

He believes a women only environment would alleviate some pressure created by mixed gender and elite training courses.

“Some of these ladies don’t want to go to advanced training schools where men are riding around more confident than them,” he said.

“It’s a different avenue for learning how to ride a motorbike other than from their husbands or boyfriends.

“Men tend to take off and leave the women behind, and you can’t really coach when you’re on a motorbike.”

The course will be held at Traralgon motocross track, on Traralgon Creek Road, Traralgon South, on Sunday, 22 June from 9.30am to 3.30pm.

Attendees must have their own motorcycle with all relevant safety equipment which includes helmet, gloves, boots and goggles.

The day is not for women who race, but for beginners wanting to learn some basic skills they can apply on a track or in the bush.

The cost is $50 per person.

For more information phone Traralgon Motorcycle Club after 4pm, Monday to Friday, on 0409 904 464.