Raising the bar for women in motorcycling
Two girls to watch in the junior women's motocross scene in New Zealand are Penny and Hazel Lang, says Motorcycling New Zealand women's commissioner Sandra Perry.
"Penny, just about to turn 13, and Hazel, aged 10, have had lots of help from their mother, Melissa Mudgway, herself a former women’s motocross front runner, in learning the basics – it's young women like this competing we want to see more of. They’re our future," says Sandra.
"Both parents, the wider family and clubs have nurtured these two amazingly talented young women and this is what the MNZ Women’s Commission is about.
"It probably helps that motocross runs in the family with the two girls having the support of their uncle Aaron Mudgway and cousin Daryl Hurley.
"The Lang sisters started racing in March 2016, with Penny now New Zealand No.2 in the 12-16 years' grade and Hazel national No.2 in the 8-11 years' division.
"If any sport wants to thrive the culture has to be positive, progressive and inclusive – this is a great sport – we need to make it a positive experience for girls who want to be involved and attractive to the majority of girls who may want to give it a go,” says father and husband Nick Lang.
"The Women’s Commission is about changing the culture so it is conducive to inclusion, growth and most importantly enjoyment – my girls, their friends and the sport will be all the better for it.
"I would love to see clubs host flat track or natural terrain riding as well as support and promote the novice and junior girls’ classes to get more girls along to give it a go and have fun with their friends," says Nick.
"We now have a social media presence for the Women’s Commission which is raising the profile of women and girls at all levels and interests and it's encouraging to see a noticeable connection of women across all aspects of the sport, whether it is at competition, recreation or volunteer level," says Sandra.
"It is exciting seeing the success of girls such as the Lang sisters and we can’t wait to see more – this is what the Women’s Commission is about."
-Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com