TWO female, BMX teenagers will take on the rest of the state in the hopes of riding to the win at the 2021 AusCycling Western Australia BMX State Championships.
Set to run from September 30 to October 2, the Bunbury BMX Club will host the championships at the track at the Hay Park Multi-Sports Pavilion for more than 800 riders, with the main race taking place on October 2.
Bunbury BMX Club Incorporated members 13-year-old Savannah Birch and 14-year-old Daytonna Longbottom are two of the riders set to take on the champs.
As both returning riders to the race, Longbottom is hoping to place first in Western Australia on both her cruiser and 20 inch bikes after placing third in the state for her cruiser race and second overall in Western Australia for her 20 inch.
She said she started racing four years ago when she decided to join her brother who also took part in the sport.
"BMX is a fun sport where you always get to meet new people," Longbottom said.
"It's a sport where eight people maximum go around a track to race either for fun or to be competitive."
Birch is coming off taking home first in Western Australia on her cruiser and second on her 20-inch at the 2020 championships.
She hopes to achieve firsts on both of her bikes for 2021.
"I started three years ago like Daytonna when my brother was racing," Birch said.
"BMX is pretty much riding a dirt track with a pedal bike. It's a good sport because you get to make friends but you also get to travel. I went to Geraldton in June and Kalgoorlie in July this year for the state series."
BMX or Bicycle Moto Cross is a cycling sport performed on specific bikes.
Some girls might think it's too scary to join so they don't try it, but they should.Savannah Birch
Competitors compete on both cruisers (24-inch wheeled cruisers with small saddles) and 20-inch (wheel size) bikes.
Bunbury BMX Club Incorporated treasurer and registrar Keryn Williams said the 2021 Championships marked the first time Bunbury had hosted the event under the 'AusCycling' banner.
"BMX is now affiliated with AusCycling just like every other cycling discipline," Williams said.
"We've gotten just over 740 entries into this years event with official practice starting on Thursday September 30 and the major race on Saturday, October 2."
The Bunbury BMX Club Inc currently has around 110 members on the books with 20 per cent of members female.
Through the inspiration of Bunbury-based BMX Olympian Lauren Reynolds, Williams said Reynolds was great inspiration for the other girls in the Bunbury club.
"We do miss Lauren being around and her 'hero status' that she brings with her into the Club. But she just shows that there are successful riders that come out of Western Australia."
Both Birch and Longbottom further agreed that BMX was still labeled as a 'boys sport', but that there was an increasing presence of females in the club.
"Some girls might think it's too scary to join so they don't try it, but they should," Birch said.
"On race nights at the Club boys and girls are mixed. It's fun to do jumps and race against both boys and girls."
To find more about the 2021 AusCycling Western Australia BMX State Championships, visit the Bunbury BMX Club's Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/BunburyBmxClub/.
"The event is free for spectators and will be a great, family day out. We hope everyone can make it," Williams said.