Last week, the Australian BMX Hall of Fame announced the addition of the Sam Willoughby Medal for a rider who has produced outstanding success internationally, domestically and at a state level in a calendar year.
The award is aimed at recognising and rewarding current Australian riders, regardless of age, gender or competition class. Similar to the traditions of the AFL’s Brownlow Medal, NRL’s Dally M Medal and Cricket Australia’s Allan Border Medal, the Sam Willoughby Medal will begin a new history for BMX in Australia.
The Chair of the Australian BMX Hall of Fame Advisory Board, Cameron Mitchell, explained that after spending time around the track he has noticed that there seems to be a lot of history that has been lost to our younger riders.
So, the BMX Hall of Fame committed to having a major push in trying to bridge the gap between riders of all ages and to celebrate the history that BMX in Australia possesses.
“We asked ourselves, how can we connect the older generation with the new?” Mitchell explained.
“We realised that we needed an award that recognises current riders and their outstanding achievements to help passionate BMX fans learn more about their sport and the rich history it has.”
The nominees for the 2018 medal have been decided by a panel consisting of Wade Bootes (Technical Director – BMX High Performance of Cycling Australia), Luke Madill (National Team Manager – BMX Australia) and the inspirational man who the medal has been named after, Sam Willoughby.
“We asked Sam to be the spearhead in this award and he was all for it,” Mitchell continued.
“Once Sam was on board it sort of snowballed from there and the riders that have been nominated are all worthy of deserving this medal that will be announced by Sam on the night.”
“Make no mistake, if you win a world title, a national title or even a state title, that is no easy feat! You could throw a coin up and it could be any one of these riders who are all completely deserving.”
The nominees for the 2017/18 Sam Willoughby Medal
Check out the video below with Sam Willoughby announcing the five riders who have been nominated for their outstanding success in a 12-month period, and who will have the chance to be crowned the inaugural Sam Willoughby Medallist as the Australian BMX Racer of the Year.
Held on July 20 at the Mercure Gold Coast Resort, the inaugural Australian BMX Hall of Fame gala dinner gives individuals the chance to dress up and go to one of the biggest award nights of the year before round four of our 2018 National Series kicks off at Nerang BMX Club on July 21-22.
The major priority of the event is to not only recognise past champions of the sport, but to also encourage the opportunity to catch up with long lost friends who haven’t been seen since the racing days.
“We will also be running some Q&A’s with the inductees, getting the opportunity to learn more about these Hall of Famers other than their success on the track,” Mitchell said.
“Everyone was in unanimous agreement that this event should be a black-tie occasion and give the inductees and award winners the fitting evening that they deserve.”
With the nominees for the Sam Willoughby Medal now announced it is time to get your tickets for the gala dinner before they are sold out.
To get your tickets + learn more about the event CLICK HERE