12 March 2013

By Laren van der Westhuizen & Michelle Smith

The Amateur ladies line up for one of their races.

MX SA has been at the forefront of ladies development in MX since the company’s inception in 2011. We identified that beginner ladies needed a place to "wet their feet" before taking the plunge into regional or even national racing in not only MX but also in off road racing. We came up with the "ladies only" race day concept as a way to try and introduce ladies to racing without throwing them in the 'deep end' and to help mentally and physically prepare them for perhaps one day jumping to regional or national levels.

Together with Dirt Bronco, who has been a long time supporter of the Women’s rider development initiative, we launched the concept and we held our first event on Sunday the 3 March. Over 20 ladies between the ages of 7 and 42 fitted into 3 classes, namely: Juniors, Amateurs and Pro’s.

Our two Juniors had the whole track to themselves and raced 3 heats. They had a blast.

The day was structured slightly differently to a normal "guys" race day, as the ladies all walked the track together after riders briefing, receiving some vital tips from long time coach, Laren Van Der Westhuizen to help mentally prepare them.
They then went on for practice and it also gave us a chance to make sure ladies were in the correct groups, making sure that ladies who were on the same ability level all rode together.
All 3 classes provided excellent racing, and all the riders seemed to perform above their own perceived abilities over three heat races.

We were honoured to have a young lady join us from Zimbabwe, Victoria Van Breda. She made the trip all the way up just for the day. She went head to head with all the pro ladies and she cleaned up the field taking wins in all 3 heats. We look forward to having her out again for the Gauteng Polokwane Regional race.
Victoria started riding MX in jan 2010. She rode for Zimbabwe in the 125 class at the AMU in Uganda 2012 and finished 7th. She has also done 3 Summer Series at donnybrook.

Even with all the action, the day was done by 1pm, leaving the ladies plenty of time to get home and relax before the week kicked off.

Our Pro girls set off on one of their heat races.

All in all, it was a massive success and MX SA intends to grow the numbers as each event progresses to include 4 classes: Junior, Beginners, Intermediate and Pro. We are also introducing a timed Enduro loop in the middle of the day from the next event and ladies are welcome to cross ride in both.

Check the race calender for the next event and make sure you don't miss out!!!

Please take the time to read the feedback down below from some of the ladies that attended.


1. Skyla van Biljon
2. Thandazo Slaghuis

1. Tharien Smith
2. Talitha van Biljon
3. Michelle Smith
4. Jackie Harris
5. Jana van Rensburg
6. Lourette Slaghius
7. Nastassja Mason
8. Cherise Venter
9. Gill Wolmerans - DNF

1. Victoria van Breda
2. Amy Sawyer
3. Anais Steenkamp
4. Belinda de Villiers
5. Amy Chewins
6. Libbie Janse van Rensburg - DNF
7. Kim Opperman - DNF
8. Biance Prout Jones - DNF

Libbie Janse van Rensburg
“For my 1st race I really did enjoy it, the competition was great between the girls. I would definitely recommend it to other ladies, its not as scary as you expect it to be and I took so much from it. It was awesome!”

Raymond Prout-Jones (Father of Bianca)
“She really loved racing with so many girls. I thoroughly enjoyed the way it was done and I would definitely recommend it.
Ladies only environment, great fun, great prizes, excellent experience and no pressure.”

Nastassja Mason
“ I started riding in 2007/2008....unfortunately I had to stop for a while. Sunday's ladies day was the first time I've been on the bike since 2009/2010; so it's like starting all over again, getting used to the bike and the speed, so I'd say my experience at the moment is beginners.
I really appreciated that we walked the track as a group and were told what to look out for and be careful of etc.; as well as the fact that everyone got a prize, making us all feel appreciated whether we came first or last.
I would definitely recommend it to other ladies, there's a lot of fun to be had as well as a lot of experience to be gained, and it helps you get a feel of "racing" in your you can do/accomplish anything. Everyone at the day was very friendly, helpful and supportive and it makes the whole experience that much more worthwhile.”

Cherise Venter
“ Before I arrived at Dirt Bronco, I had no clue what to expect, as soon as I got there I was shocked and amazed at what the people could do!
I really enjoyed the day and will ensure to attend lots more of your fun days. I also enjoyed riding with the other girls and getting tips on what to do if you go around a corner or if you go over a jump etc.
I was proud of myself when I fell as its part of the sport and not for giving up when you get knocked down.
I would recommend this to other ladies as motocross is a fun sport, it gets you out of the house and you can enjoy it and go as wild and crazy as you want on the track.”

Belinda Spillings
“ Thank you for a fantastic day on Sunday!
I started riding dirt bikes about 4 years ago. I have taken part in a few of the Gauteng regional MX races in 2011 and 2012. Racing was a great experience as it showed me that I have a lot to learn! It also pushed me out of my comfort zone so that now when I ride, I try a little harder to improve. Laren van der Westhuizen has spoken about riding with butterflies in your tummy... Every now and then, when I'm practicing I try to push a little harder so that I feel the butterflies again!
The fun day series are a fantastic way to introduce ladies to the concept of racing without the pressure of a full race day. It was encouraging to see so many ladies interested in trying out a fun race and I particularly enjoyed watching the two little beginners going at it in their race.
Would I recommend it to other ladies? Of course! Racing, even at fun days, helps shape you into a better rider. It is also a great way to meet other riders and form friendships.
Lastly, I'd like to thank all the Diamonds and Dirt team for making the fun day such a great success. Dirt Bronco and the team prepped the track beautifully and were very professional. To all the husbands, fathers and brothers - thank you for all the support that you've given the ladies riders

Jackie Harris
“We had an awesome funday! I only started riding last june. I have been to the big ladies day last august and then the last ladies mx day and the funday.
It was a lot of fun and I would recommend it to other ladies because it is very intimidating to ride with guys, and it is a lot of fun. We also met some other ladies from pta and are going to be riding with them as well. Can't wait for the next one!”

Tharien Smith
“ It was awesome fun, I really enjoyed!!! Luv doing track, would have been nice to try the big one as well. The 'racing' puts the day in perspective, cause that is why I went there. Adrenalin is pumping!!
I really enjoyed the day as a whole, the 3 sessions is great, because u can push yourself with each one and learn more and try to improve on the corners that u battle with. Also try to go a bit faster with each race.
Yes definitely, to meet other ladies who also ride and to ride together on any occasion and need not wait for June! “

Anais Steenkamp
“Okay, so I've been riding for less than a year and never actually done MX racing so I was pretty much...stressing about the day because I don't really know how to avoid that first corner pile-up except for getting the hole shot and well, yeah.
The day was so much fun! Meeting girls that actually ride was amazing as you don't get it very often and having Toni and Kirsten there added something. I don't know what exactly but something :) I would definitely recommend it to other ladies because it helps you get into the whole thing without you having to do a regional to know what the racing part feels like and because of the different skill levels of the ladies, the less experienced riders (like me) can learn a lot from the pro riders. Well done!”

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