Wyndham Warriors BMX Club member Amanda Morgan executed an inspiring third place finish at the Australian National Championships in Brisbane this year. The 31-year-old qualified first in her age group and will now gear up to compete against some of the world’s best at the 2017 UCI World Championships in Rockhill, South Carolina.
Amanda will be participating in the 25+ Women’s (20-inch bike) division and the 30-39 Women’s (24- inch bike) division.
Originally growing up in the UK, Amanda was heavily involved in the local BMX scene. She won multiple British junior national championships and even had a real chance at a career in BMX racing. ‘I wish I had stuck with it, and I maybe could have gone further. My dad told me the Olympics was definitely a possibility for me one day.’
However, at the age of eight, Amanda’s family packed up and moved to Australia. Unfortunately, this meant that Amanda’s bike was left behind and so was her BMX dream, but only momentarily.
After over a decade away from the track, a few years ago Amanda realised something was missing from her life- BMX racing. Deciding it was time to return to the sport, she had her brother build her a brand-new bike and got straight back on the track. Amanda notes that she has put in some serious hard work in the gym and five years’ worth of working tirelessly to become a competitive racer once again.
Enter 2017 and Amanda is now about to spend her 31st birthday riding sprints down Santa Monica Boulevard. Celebrating her achievement of making her second consecutive world championship.
“I still think for my age that I am riding well, I’m often racing girls that are 14 years old and I don’t feel like age creates any barriers for what you can achieve in the sport whether you’re in your 30, 40 or even 50’s.”
She does add though that the 2017 UCI World Championship will most likely be her last run at a world championship due to the strenuous travelling involved in competing, especially with a four-year-old daughter at home.
‘I’m 31 years old, it’s now or never for me.’
Amanda’s return to BMX hasn’t been all smooth sailing, she has had to overcome some tough obstacles in order to be in the position she is in today.
‘I have had trouble with my mental headspace, especially at the 2014 World Championships in Rotterdam, Netherlands after having my first child.’
‘A lot of my preparation for this year has been focused on my mental health. You have to surround yourself with positive people and believe in yourself, and I have struggled with that.’
‘Going to a sports psychologist has really helped me work out where to put my mind, and helping me sort everything out and line it all up.’
Amanda admits that she will be disappointed if she does not make the finals in Rockhill, but is planning on going into the event with an open mind and simply hoping to ride at the best of her ability.
Post event, Amanda would like to focus her energy on helping nurture and support female BMX riders. Since returning to BMX, Amanda acknowledges that there has been a massive increase in female participation in the sport. Amanda wants to promote bonding and raising female rider’s confidence whether it be on the track or even setting up their own bikes, ‘It’s all about having fun at the end of the day’.