MCNews.com.au is pleased to welcome Greg Moss (Moss Institute) to our list of regular contributors. Greg has over 20 years of coaching experience, specialising in motocross and supercross. His twin boys, Jake and Matt, have been stars of the Australian Motocross scene for 20 years, with countless Junior and Senior National Championships under their belts. Matt is currently the reigning Australian Motocross and Supercross Champion. This is his third weekly Thursday column. Previously Greg interviewed Meghan Rutledge, and previewed the World MX season.
Inter School MX is alive! – By Greg Moss
Inter school MX is alive and thriving in New Zealand. I have to wonder if it will ever get the ‘Green Light’ in Australia. I caught up with Amanda Fitzpatrick from Hauraki Plains College and threw this question her way.
Q. What’s the go – how did this get going?
Nine years ago my son said to me “Mum – can we start a motocross team at school” – I said of course – anything to keep my son on the straight and narrow at school. If there is one thing I have learnt, it’s “Dare to Dream”. We started a team with 5 kids, it was a way of keeping them at school and doing the right thing in class – that is how it still is today at Hauraki Plains College.
The inter school MX is fun and fair. True beginners get a chance of racing and not getting thrashed on the track. It can change a “ratbag” into an awesome “ratbag”. The team knows if they want to ride, train and be on the teams, then the standard of behaviour and school work needs to be high. You don’t have to be an awesome rider, you just need to have an awesome attitude! Over the years, different paths have changed for many boys who were on a slippery slope to nowhere, motocross is what pulls them back on track – if they don’t behave they wouldn’t be riding their bikes.
Without the backing of school principals, the teams and School MX Competition would never have got off the ground – it encourages all kids to do extra-curricular activities.
We are about to host our eighth tournament, with a beginners, intermediate and pro classes, all riders are racing for their school and individual points. In 2013, Motorcycling NZ came on board and now provides day licenses, this cuts down the cost to the competitors. We don’t do the tournaments to make money – we raise money and donate it to the NZ Breast Cancer Foundation. Even more schools are now on board with ‘MX in Schools’ and running their own competitions in 2014 as well. Now in New Zealand, MX is being widely accepted by schools as being part of the school curriculum alongside Rugby, Netball & Cricket. THANKS FOR THAT AMANDA!
Since traveling to NZ for coaching schools, it has become apparent to me that a big percentage of families riding dirt bikes come from the rural community, where the kids enjoy motorbikes being part of the farm life and families like to enjoy their time with their kids – so it seems MX racing is just a natural progression, accepted by schools and the community
I think its great that Australian controlling bodies and MX clubs are now running ‘Come & Try’ days to try and introduce new riders to the sport, but looking at this Schools doing MX in NZ, it automatically introduces the whole community to motox.