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Women are finally starting to make their mark in many forms of motorcycle racing in WA

Author: Linda Russell

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Not so many years ago it was hard to find any women involved in motorcycle racing of any description in Western Australia.

Today they would probably still be classed as a rarity, although more and more are becoming involved, especially in MX where there seems to be an abundance who not only start very early in life but now continue on into the senior ranks where they do very well.

The first woman that I remember in motorsport was in road racing, she was from NSW named Linda Walsh, who away from the race track was a banker. In the late 80's and early 90's she successfully competed in the 125GP class and gave a very good account of herself.

Over the years there have been plenty who have come into the sport, like Alison Scoullar in sidecars, Mandy Beales who was a Historic racing National Champion and locally in road racing Helen Klimczak, Sharon Abrey, Corina Horwood, Elizabeth Haren, Tina Davis, Tammy Martin, Mel Crockford to name a few.

Amy Pinfold rode as both a junior and senior competitor in road racing prior to the family moving to Queensland. There are now quite a few women coming into road racing, and unlike previous years they now seem to stick at it and are beginning to reap the rewards for their efforts. In speedway senior solo's Carly Gittus is riding well following in the footsteps of her father Jeff.

In women's MX Jessica Moore from Kalgoorlie and Chelsea Blakers from Manjimup stand out as the two quiet achievers, and in MX there are enough girls coming into the sport for them to have their own championship both at Senior State and National level which is very encouraging.
Chelsea Blakers soars to victory in the state womens MX championship. Credit: Innesphotografix.
Teleisha Outram from the southern suburb of Port Kennedy is just one of a number of up and coming junior/senior MX riders who are progressing well in their chosen discipline, where she finished third in the Coastal Club's awards for the 2011 season. Teleisha has been racing motorcycles since she was four years old, following her father and brother who rode in MX events. Teleisha is currently a member of the Coastal Club although for several years she rode in the North-West for the Newman Club.

I spoke to 16 year old Teleisha by phone in Newman and she told me, "I started to ride when I was three years old and had my first race at four, so I have a fair bit of experience. I have raced against boys, and they are pretty good to race with, but now I'm moving into the seniors I will just be riding with the girls. Next year I will not only move up to the seniors but I will be riding a 250cc KTM instead of the 125cc KTM that I have been riding. It will be a lot of fun riding against Jessica Moore and current State Champion Chelsea Blakers, and I reckon I should be able to run in the top four. I really enjoy the sport and I'm sure more girls would enjoy it if they gave it a go."

2011 WA State Champion Chelsea Blakers is one single minded young lady, she has been riding since the age of five or six, starting on a Pee Wee 50, and began to race when she got bored with watching her brother week in week out at MX events so she decided to give it a go and hasn't stopped since.

"I always had the goal in the back of my mind that I could be State champion and I have worked towards that, every year I have gotten a little bit closer. Four years ago I was fourth then the next year third, the year before last runner-up and last year I finally got there, but to do it I have had to work harder and harder each year, but now all that hard work has paid off."

I asked her if more girls were coming into the sport. "Hopefully yes, I have been talking to a lot of girls who have bikes etc but that have never raced, trying to encourage them to have a go.

"I'm also trying to organize a WA team to go to the Nationals in 2012 so that they can experience just what it is like to race at a big event, so with that, my defence of my title and doing the National rounds I will be working really hard. There used to be quite a bit of drop out when the girls got to the senior ranks, due to any number of reasons, the costs involved, school, TEE, jobs etc but now with the women's championship they seem to be staying in the sport which is great." Blakers told me.

If you are interested in getting started in motorcycle racing contact your local club or MWA for more information on 93715333.

Main Photo: Teleisha Outram
Credit: True Spirit Photos

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