By Brett lee
This weekend was the finale at Gopher Dunes for motocross in SWO. I said this last year and it held true again this year, it is one of the most well promoted, creative and fun events of the season. For several years now it has been lightly attended. Jump contest, prizes, RC tracks, friendly promoters, dependable track and hell, it is the last race of the year.
With the low entries comes the attempt to explain the lack of enthusiasm towards racing in Canada. There are a few truths, some obstacles, but really it’s not as bad as it seems.
The truth is, as great of a job that we see from the guys here at MXP, or DMX promoting motocross and building hype around all events, we are still a small sport. Coast to coast, with all racers from all clubs piled in, we are still a sport of about 10,000 participants – spread across Canada, one of the largest, most beautiful yet vast countries in the world. When the effort is on par with efforts anywhere, it is still essentially impossible to draw those big numbers to make the return that a business like Gopher Dunes is looking for. The truth is though, as a promoter, you have to try. You cannot sit back and wait for the entries, then invest. Promoting is a building game; you have to build it, believe in it, be stubborn and hope for the return.
There are obstacles for races to be successful. In Ontario one of the biggest obstacles to the promoting game is the competing schedules and conflicting race days. There are simple solutions, one of which is communication. Clubs, tracks and organizations need to have a scheduling day. Every club and track in the room making schedules for Ontario that makes sense. There will always be conflicting dates, competing events, and not every group is going to feel they got the best deal, but the truth is it needs to happen. There is no reason there are conflicting weekends within a close proximity of each other, and for a race that is heavily being invested in, like a National or events like SandStorm, we should work to allow them to grow.
There also needs to be a swell of enthusiasm. Today’s world is one in which it is easy to find the negative, the dark points. The bright points are often overlooked. It isn’t a motocross thing, it is a life thing. Without question those working or playing in the environment become drained. I have been working in motocross for 12 years with CMRC and years before that as a racer and track rat. I love the sport as much as anyone but as most of you know, I am switching it up. There are many reasons, but without question one is to allow new ideas, new approaches and renewed enthusiasm to surface. Not just from me, but those I work with and those I haven’t. It is a high energy sport and the energy to push it is consuming. More people have to help, collaborate, table ideas, and focus on the things we love about motocross. What brought motocross back from the brink in the early ‘90s was surge of ideas, passion and yes, enthusiasm that has carried Canadian Motocross through to today.
It is the time of year when the leaves fall and we look at our sport. The focus is on the good and the bad, and for the right reason, because we love it. Passion takes all forms. What I know is motocross is going forward and the passion to continue to make it better is alive. It is never as good as we want it, but it sure as hell ain’t as bad as it may sometimes seem.