While the true value of this “Petrol Head” sport has not risen much since I had my time at Tauranga Boys College, the riders of today do get to represent their School and now, thanks primarily to one man who will remain partially anonymous, can call themselves a team- with a coach. Me!
We didn’t have a MX team or Schools competitions to race but we were not under privileged. On reaching Year 12 (Sixth Form) we were allowed to take Wednesday afternoons off in pursuit of the motocross track as something called Senior Recreation and a form of recognition came in my last year where I got to do the incredible and partially deafen the younger grades as I rode my 1999 CR125 through the main assembly and spoke on excellence both in the classroom and on the sports arena.
Maddix Park supplied the venue at a discounted price which I also did for their coaching. The wood-work resembled something out of a horror movie with riders coming out of every crevice, the ones slowest to sign up missing out this time around. However popularity doesn’t guarantee success. With the high numbers we spread the time out so there was never more than eight people in a group or more than two groups per day; a formula that proved successful but no matter how good the maths, if a rider doesn’t see the need then there is going to be a battle.
Knowing that most riders can do just fine on a hard pack track I started with some fire on a slippery first corner and sandy second one as they looped back on to the starting straight. Next came a tricky hill and cut up back straight to sort out any standing issues before finishing with starts. Three of the four groups in general soaked up the skills, the other took a little convincing; the kind of riders I can really sink my teeth in to that either you will never see again or become believers for life. It took some sweat, stern words and threatenings but by the end it felt like we reached the victory, where everyone wins.
So now, having laid the foundation we will meet again, moving deeper into the technicalities that make this sport so much fun; in the hope that these riders learn the value of hard work along with its benefits.