Next Gen Event Organizers | Australia
Guest Author Rob McWhinnie
Photo Credit Boardsite Media & Tom Threlfo
We have had amazing run of ASRA events for almost a decade. The world leading association that lead the way to high rewarding events and professional organization within our sport. After huge success with Newtons Nation and later with Mt Keira Challenge, they have promoted our national organizers to start working hard with the new International Downhill Federation. Their experience and knowledge can only be applauded as a triumph for the world wide community.
With the demise of many social networks outside of Facebook, we have seen ASRA.org left in the wind. Riders have moved away from the website and cracks have been seen within its management order. The disturbing lack of a championship series by ASRA run races, and a world cup race, many riders are wondering if its time for some fresh blood in the ranks. The thing is passing off the reins won’t be so easy. Remember the current team does not get paid for their hard work and have always done it for the passion.
The light I have seen recently has not been from within the organization , or OG’s, but out on the streets. Run by gromets, mostly for gromets, outlaws have been popping up across the nation. With their own rules and all thrown together for a weekend of fun. Could this be the next generation of ASRA organizers? One day, I hope so.
Starting in Peru and then Byron Bay (and recently heavily around Sydney and now central west), Maga and myself have been holding outlaw events for over 5 years now. We are happy to see other riders now wanting to host events themselves and stoking out their mates on their terms. I’m excited to introduced a few young guns that have started holding events themselves. Organising madness and training to be better skaters and community leaders.
Oi Tyrone, why have you started holding races? “I put the races on for the skaters, my mates, and especially the, “up and coming” skaters wanting to stand out. Well this is their chance at a podium and some spot light”
David “man dime” Penny is usually on the podium at the Sydney Outlaw, at only 16 years old he’s been around the traps to know what’s up and is familiar with events from his time helping me. His recent race was in the upper market suburb of Mosman, surrounded by water and perfect pavement.
Penny why have you started holding your own events? “To keep all the groms keen on racing. We need to keep holding small local events to keep the community growing and pushing the skaters to their limits. its like our weekend sport, instead of going to the field or pitch to play team sports we battle it out on the streets. i put it on for everyone”! Even the cops showed up to watch the race, crazy grommets fighting it out for top position. haha
Rad. Tyrone’s event a few weeks ago was held on Naccos turf, but like ASRA haven’t been able to get the roads they want closed and/or organized a race often enough. Throughout the central coast, Groms have moved in. Over the last few years they have been hitting Jack Meyns and others outlaws. Now with a fresh breath from the likes of Tony at GO4 Sports, Tyrone can kick start the next series,.
“So bro, why did you choose that track?” “I chose the track cause it’s a brand new estate that’s just been built, with butter smooth pavement, there’s just no traffic so it was perfect for a little outlaw”
Rob – “Penny why this hill, usually you and short shorters ar freeriding there?” “I chose the track because it’s got a hectic windy section at the top, a sweet straight to draft on and two hairpins. Your line matters a lot on this track”
“Who’s been helping you out penny?” “Basement Skate layed down hella swag and provided all the safety gear, gym mats, walkies and shit. Rayne Longboards pimped us the fortune and hellcat for podium prizes!! Cheers and all the local kids who helped out with marshaling. That helped heaps too!!”
You need prizes to run races, I would normally give my own equipment away at races cause it comes and go’s, but gromets are not so lucky. Thats why its so important to recognize their supporters.
Tyrone – “Basement Skate has always helped out sponsoring events in Australia, and best trucks in the world Ronin Trucks came on board. They have been helping supporting the scene lately so big thanks to Fred Bauman at Ronin!….. and tony streets at GO4Sports Distro. They helped out by throwing lots of gear, such as abec11, Jet, & Bustin.
While some scenes in Aus have the man power and prowess to organize, coordinate a legitimate events, its likely to occur only once a year. Awesome in its own right, we’re stoked we still have that level of commitment in the national scene. I believe that the future is still bright for our sport. I’m not hoping on any great changes in the laws around our sport and am happy with how things are. Outlaw racing gets more riders involved in racing and supplies the riders with a fix more often than a legit event. Besides which, it’s been kept low key enough to not disturb the communities and we have been reasonably lucky with no bad accidents. One day Penny and Tyrone might be interested in helping out ASRA. But until then, they are doing what they want and frothing out their peers.
Big ups gromets!
Special thanks to Basement Skate and Go4Sports Distribution for supporting the “Next Gen”