This is the seventh in a series of articles designed to bust some of the myths about what Motorcycling Western Australia does, the services offered and the programs we run to benefit members of affiliated clubs.
Myth: Our $320 licence just pays for a big office staff to sit around and do nothing, you guys just don’t care. It’s just us riders paying.
Fact: To develop and administer the sport does cost, but not as much as it could. It is a fact of life that nothing comes free. To help, Motorcycling Western Australia sources nearly $200,000 of its annual budget through grants and sponsorship, which means riders pay less. Bar none, WA riders pay far less than east coast counter parts. By a lot. Much of our funding is through the department of sport, and that funds the programs and does require extra people. The benefit is that someone else is paying while MWA works on initiatives to make the sport better and attract members to clubs.
Just some of the programs MWA run that benefit clubs and members:
· Motosafe Presenting motorcycle sport to over 3000 school children each year where we promote clubs and their events as well as safe riding and respect for the environment.
· Minikhana Our ‘Auskick’ of motorcycling. Each year over 70 kids learn new skills in a fun safe environment with modified rules. Doesn’t sound much, until you realise that there are only 600 junior riders in WA. All of these kids go off to join MX and offroad clubs, that’s 10% increase each year.
· Free Mini Program In partnership with clubs, we offer a free Mini licence through our Motosafe program to those clubs that offer a free membership. This adds up to another 30 riders annually to the ranks.
· GoMoto A low cost program for any club to take on and set up a Ride Park experience at low cost. Any club can take this on, and the few that have, had big increases in numbers. GoMoto has seen hundreds of riders join clubs across the state.
· Come and Try A free program with free licences for those wanting to try out clubs and the sport for the first time. A variation of Come and try is our inflatable track and kids bikes we take to big events and allow kids from 5 to 10 have a free ride. This has seen hundreds of kids try bikes for the first time, and for 2017 we intend to extend to regional shows increasing exposure.
· FairGo Moto A program that allows physically and mentally impaired kids ride bikes with the volunteer help of MWA staff and a myriad of volunteers. 20 kids (and growing have the pleasure of doing something we all take for granted).
· JET Camp Elite level coaching over a 4 day camp at no cost to participants, who are given training in all the off bike skills required to succeed at a state, national and international level. The best professionals in the country are sourced from WAIS, UWA and the industry to provide expert tuition in nutrition, fitness, psychology, media and sponsorship and other skills for a great rider to become a champion athlete.
· Officials Accreditation It is often forgotten by those in the metro area that MWA is responsible for the wellbeing of clubs and members across the largest patch of turf anywhere in the world, from Esperance to Kununurra, Perth to Kalgoorlie. We provide the same set of programs at the same cost no matter where our members live. Flown to Carnarvon lately? Our cost to any of our members is $0 no matter where you live. In 2002 MWA ran 12 courses and had 215 officials. In 2015 MWA ran 35 courses and had 3196 officials. Mini Myth: Who cares? I don’t need training to officiate at a race meeting if my club is not affiliated! Fact: That may be true, until something happens, then accreditation and training is more important than good intentions to the authorities. One doesn’t need to look too far to see where government influence can impact viz, Barbagallo. The fact is, aside from making sure a race meeting is run in a fair and safe way, training provides a big safety net when things can and do go wrong.
· Coaching Accreditation: Same principle as officials. The junior coaching program initiated by MA has seen coaching for riders become part of the culture with hundreds of trained coaches professional and club across the country offering dozens of schools each year.
MWA employs 3 fulltime and 4 part time staff (as above with significant outside funding), 5 of which who are actively involved in motorcycle sport. All staff volunteer considerable time outside of work hours at no cost, we are all passionate, we are all professional and we all want the sport to succeed.