My name is Neil Cameron – I’m now the president of BMX Australia.
I would like to say thanks to the States who showed me support in achieving this position, and hope to prove worthy of the trust that has been invested in me.
So what does a change in BMXA president mean to joe public in BMX?
In the short-term probably very little. BMX will roll along under its current plans because commitments have been made to states and clubs and it makes sense that the new board should fulfil those commitments – we are not in the business of creating havoc from day one.
However, there will be change, and plenty of it in the long run. The board of BMXA is a fairly new affair (take a look on Facebook and our website at the photos so you know who we are), but we have a good mix of states represented along with a great mix of skills, so we’re not short of people who know how to run BMX.
One of the pieces that has been missing, and something we intend to fix, is BMXA’s ability to communicate its intentions to the sport. From the bottom of the tree it can be difficult to work out which way the wind is blowing at the top, and why we are moving in a certain direction, so communication will be key to making everyone understand what we are trying to do, why we are doing it and where we are going.
BMXA needs to focus on a wide range of issues … much more than states or clubs.
There is high performance, world championships, UCI rule changes, web-site development, database management and corporate governance to think of (to name a few) along with running events. Generally when the BMX public look at us they see the last part – the running of events and judge our success or otherwise on a very narrow sector of our workload.
Running events, and running them well, is a very important part of our business. As a race director for many years I’m keen to see restructuring of a lot of things we do, but I can’t and won’t be doing all that myself – the workload is way too big, so I’ll utilise the great team of officials we have and work towards streamlining and improving our events – the part of our role that probably affects the majority of BMXA members the most.
Over the coming months you will see some things change, and others remain the same. There will of course be the same old whinge about “BMXA doing nothing”, but in fact that won’t be the case – we will be doing a large amount of work to improve the product that you as a consumer see.
Nerang is the first cab off the rank and unfortunately I won’t be there. The wife has organised a thing called “Holidays” (not really keen on that idea) … but I can say that because I’m pretty sure she won’t read this. Nerang, and Shepparton following it, are being diligently organised behind the scenes by our new Events Manager (Joel Ulbricht) and I have great confidence that both Joel and the team of officials, ably lead by Paul Connors (newly appointed National Officiating Director), will do a great job.
I’m hoping that the major change that states, regions and clubs see in BMXA is the willingness and ability to communicate – to those organisations and to the members. I know I’m sticking my neck our here, and it means I’ll have to write this stuff a lot more often, but I firmly believe that communication – listening and talking to our members – is one of the major ways we’ll get the information we need to make sure our direction is right.
Of course, not everyone will get what they want. Within 10 minutes of the election result being posted on the BMXA Facebook page there were calls for the Aussies to go to WA, and for BMXA to improve the membership of Vic. That’s great feedback, but it doesn’t mean we are going to suddenly jump up and down on BMXVIC and tell them what to do. It means we are going to talk to the States and ask them how we can help. If they want our help then great, we’ll do what we can. If they don’t, then so be it.
BMXA is not going to change this sport by “telling” everyone what to do. That has never worked before and won’t in the future. There are far too many experts in this sport who know what is best and will gladly tell you what “someone” should do, or what BMXA should do … just walk around a race meeting with your ears open. No, I believe the way forward is for BMXA to show the states what is possible, and lead the sport forward by example. That’s going to be a big ask/task, but none of us took this on to sit back and watch.
Did I mention this was a Christmas Message? Sorry, but I became sidetracked from that one.
I’d like to wish all BMX members, Clubs, Regions, States, our volunteers and the hard-working staff of BMXA a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year (you can see I’m not big on political correctness).
Drive safe, spend plenty of time with your family and gear up in all that new BMX regalia you’ll get for Christmas. The commentators at the first event will love you because they won’t have a clue who is wearing what!
I’ll see you round the tracks during the year – make sure you stop and have a chat.