Now, the program has been recognised by the FIM as the best in the world.
At the annual FIM Gala Night held today in Andorra, Spain in front of the whole motorcycling world the Women’s Program was selected as the winner of the FIM Women in Motorcycling Award from a very strong group of finalists from around the world.
The FIM Women in Motorcycling Award aims to recognise, reward and celebrate those, individuals or organisations, who have significantly contributed to improve the presence of women at all levels.
Candidates for the Award seek to help women to be increasingly valued and included in the motorcycling world, by cooperating and creating opportunities such as women-only competitions and “have-a-go” events and by promoting role models. They develop sport and activities for women, thereby opening the motorcycling world to all.
The MWA Women’s Program has in the past few years performed exceptionally in all these areas.
With numerous Come & Try programs, women only coaching, and advocacy at all levels from club to state for inclusive opportunities for girls and women, participation has more than trebled for females.
The way the program works is down to a few core principles: The drive of the volunteer committee to ensure participation opportunities are available and promoted; the willingness of clubs and promoters to see the vision of the committee and provide women’s class racing, or to make available venues for coaching and Come & Try; mentoring and encouragement of participants; and the women, girl’s, parents and partners who have stuck with, and supported the committee by voting with their feet and turned up to ride in numbers.
Motorcycling Western Australia's CEO Rick Gill commented, “MWA has long held the vision that with 50% of the population being female, Women’s motorcycle sport should be much bigger and less male dominated than it has been. With a dedicated committee who simply refuse to take ‘no’ for and answer a lot of potential has been realised with real results. I believe this is just the beginning of a positive growth period for women’s motorcycle sport”.
As finalists, MWA Women’s Chair Tracy Simpson, and committee member Chelsea Blakers travelled to Spain to be at the FIM Gala to represent the MWA Women’s Committee.
Tracy said shortly after accepting the award “It is an honour to receive the FIM Women in Motorcycling award in recognition of the hard work and dedication of the MWA women's committee and the achievement of outstanding results and outcomes for women and girls in motorcycling in Western Australia. This award not only recognises the work of the committee, but the support of the whole organisation, from the President and Board of MWA, to the CEO and staff, to all the club committees, promoters, volunteers and riders. This award will certainly support us in going forward to continue to achieve our goals and our aim to implement the program nationally.”.
This was re-enforced by MWA President Peter Clark who said “What started as a vision by some very dedicated people has transformed in to a world winning program for women in motorcycling. This shows with dedication and commitment how things can grow and be rewarded. This is not just a win for our Women’s Committee but it is a win for all of our clubs, all of our riders and coaches and to everyone else who has contributed to the success of the Women’s Program in WA. I would like to congratulate the dedicated Committee that made this possible.”
Motorcycling Australia CEO Peter Doyle, who was also at the ceremony added: “On behalf of all Motorcycling Australia we congratulate the MWA Women’s committee on their outstanding achievement. They continue to drive participation and growth and are a great example for all to follow when it comes to including Women in Motorcycle Sport”.
That the nomination for the highest award the FIM offer for women’s sport development is so sought after is reflected in the quality of the applicants. The 10 finalists were:
Kiara Fontanesi (ITA)
Women’s Motocross Rider – 5 times WMX World Champion.
Leslie Porterfield (USA)
Landspeed and Circuit Racing – A mentor involved in motivational speaking and working with charities. She works with many organizations promoting motorcycle awareness, especially women and motorcycling. As an ambassador to women and riding, she aims at breaking barriers and inspiring women and kids.
Female Track Day in Dubai – Sabah Mukri (UAE)
Aims to create and organise the first ever female only track day in Dubai with the objective to encourage female riders to ride on track and have a safe and fun experience.
Toutes en Moto – Female Motorcycling Association (SUI)
A not-for-profit association based in Geneva that organizes a large annual event to draw attention to and defend Women’s Rights by using motorcycles as an example of emancipation, independence, freedom and dignity. Their motto is “Ride/Drive our lives”.
Women’s Commission – Portuguese Federation (FMP) (POR)
The commission has five main objectives: 1) represent the interest of female riders and encourage more participation; 2) raise awareness among female riders; 3) encourage more female riders to join the competition; 4) organize events to promote women’s participation; 5) organize specific female only events.
Missbiker – Community (ITA)
The objectives are: 1) to promote motorcycling among women and increase women’s presence both in touring & leisure as well as in competition; 2) encourage industry (manufacturers etc.) to provide better products and services to female riders; 3) create a network and community as well as organizing events, trainings etc.
Alan Critcher (UK)
Alan Critcher is a speedway enthusiast involved in promoting and raising the profile of female speedway riders around the world. He took part in a riding tour “Ladies Day” across UK to help promote women in Motorsport. He sponsored female Speedway riders to rife at various tracks around England (Carley Gittus AUS, Hayley Perrault USA, Micaela Bazan ARG…)
Enduro Xperience Da Mulher – Women’s Enduro Experience (BRA)
The main goal is to encourage and support women to participate in FIM standard Enduro and Off-road competition, to offer to newcomers a welcoming and helpful environment, with guidance on the rules and help on the sections, empowering them and making them feel confident to participate in competitions.
Girls Racing Team – Female only Endurance Team
The team’s objective is to be a “role model” and attract more female riders to Endurance. The results achieved by this female only Endurance Team show that it is possible for female riders to take part in this very demanding competition and discipline. It sets an example for other female riders who are looking to take part in competition.
Women’s Committee (West AUS)
The MWA Women’s committee was established in 2014 with the objective to promote and build women’s/girls participation in motorcycle sport in Western Australia, as riders, volunteers, coaches and officials , to advocate on behalf of women/girls with promoters/clubs/state for opportunity and recognition, and to build social capital and support networks amongst participants to encourage longevity in the sport.
Ms Erin Sills (USA)
Landspeed world record holder
Mr Alex Hofmann (GER)
Former Grand Prix Rider and MotoGP commentator
Ms Martine de Cortanze (FRA)
Former Rally and Enduro Rider and 2015 FIM Woman Legend
Ms Tomo Igata (JAP)
Former Grand Prix rider and 2016 FIM Woman Legend
Mr Pedro Venturo-Markoch (PER)
FIM Latin America President
Ms Nita Korhonen (FIN)