Yesterday, it was all about the glam as GSSC student Matilda Kelly celebrated her Year 10 Formal with her peers at GSSC.
But last Friday the heels were switched for Vans and the dress was replaced with sportswear as Matilda took part in the 2023 National BMX Championships.
Held in Shepparton over four days, the AusCycling champs are the premier event on the Australian BMX calendar, bringing together almost 1200 riders from all ages. The event saw representatives from all states and territories converge on Shepparton, even the likes of Olympian and five-time BMX World Cup champion, Saya Sakakibara.
“I have never competed in anything on that scale,” Matilda said.
“Being able to place in a national event like that was a great experience.”
On Friday, Matilda competed on her 20-inch BMX and on Saturday, placed in her age group event riding her Cruiser.
Matilda has been riding BMX on and off since she was five, following in the footsteps of her dad who used to ride.
“I love it. Even if I don’t make it to the top level in competition, it’s something that I enjoy and get a lot out of.”
Matilda said as a sport and hobby it’s not something that traditionally many girls have been involved in.
“It would be great to see more girls involved – there are a few at our club now and there’s a small group of us across Victoria who usually compete in the same races and state titles,” she said.
“My sister who is 7 is now showing an interest in it so I just really want to support her and see her progress.”
Matilda is involved with the Shepparton BMX Club and said the Shepparton track is one of the best around, featuring an 8-metre hill used by riders at elite level.
“The national championships have been a chance for us to show off the track and club and it’s been good as since last weekend we’ve had some more interest and new people attend training,” she said.