Tasmania’s best kick up the dirt at Mountain Bike Championships

5 June 2019|Sport| Off Comments off on Tasmania’s best kick up the dirt at Mountain Bike Championships|

STUDENTS across Tasmania converged at Glenorchy Mountain Bike Park to put their skills to the test at one of the state’s largest mountain bike competitions.

More than 500 secondary school students ranging from 11-year-olds through to year 12 students competed in the Tasmanian All Schools Mountain Bike Championships in May.

Dirt Devils Mountain Bike Club president Adam Christopher said the event was targeted at helping further boost participation in the sport in Tasmania.

“It probably was the biggest number of entrants in a bike event in Tasmania for some time, if not all time,” he said.

“It attracted kids from across all ranges – from kids wanting to compete at a national level through to kids who were down there having a go.

“The students seemed to be having a great time and enjoying the trails.”

Mr Christopher said he hoped to see more active mountain biking programs emerge out of the competition.

“We run events all through the year and we’ve certainly seen an increase in the number of school-aged students competing at our local race events,” he said.

The competition, run by Dirt Devils Mountain Bike Club, saw competitors race in either under 15, under 17 or under 19 male and female divisions.

Taking out top spot in their respective divisions was Thomas Clayton in under 15 male, Solly Wilkinson in under 17 male, Liam Johnston in under 19 male, Rachel Horsham in under 15 female, Taylah Sherriff in under 17 female and Fenella Harris in under 19 female.

Sixteen-year-old Solly Wilkinson, who has been riding from a young age, said winning the under 17 male event helped him gain valuable experience.

“It doesn’t hit you when you cross the line, it hits you after you’ve got your breath back and you’ve calmed down, but it’s a great feeling – it makes you feel proud of yourself,” he said.

Solly has previously competed in both state and national level events and said his aim was to get in the under 19 Australian team.

“That’s my focus at the moment and going to the Gold Coast for the Australian All Schools Championships in August will help me get recognised,” he said.

Solly said mountain biking was a sport that anyone could take up and enjoy.

“It takes you places where you can’t go by feet or car, and just being outside in the bush is really fun,” he said.

“It’s not just an individual sport, so you can go out with your mates on the weekend and have fun with them.

“It’s for everyone, you don’t have to be the best – it’s the thought that all you need is a bike and then you can go and do it.”

The Glenorchy Mountain Bike Park has hosted several national level competitions such as the Oceania Championships and a round of the National Series.

The State All Schools Mountain Bike Championships was supported by a grant from the State Government.

Caption: Under 17 male winner Solly Wilkinson competes at the Tasmanian All Schools Mountain Bike Championships.

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The Glenorchy Gazette is your monthly community newspaper, reaching over 24,000 homes and businesses in the Glenorchy municipality. It is the product of Nicolas Turner, Justine Brazil, Ben Hope, Simon Andrews, Tobias Hinds and guest contributors, with support from advertisers.

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