Coach turns competitor for state titles

BMX: Roz Finnegan brought home a Queensland four plate from her first tilt at a state championship.

The mother of two was a last-minute entrant, registering on the urgings of fellow competitors to help form the first over-50 women’s class to ever compete at states.

Finnegan was one of four coaches from the Rockhampton BMX Club who turned competitors for the championships at Sarina.

They were among a 40-plus contingent from the club and among more than 700 riders who took part in the three-day event.

Alison Davies, the club’s most experienced coach, rode when she was younger but took up the sport again when her children got involved.

She finished third in the 40-44 years women’s division, while her daughter Jade was seventh in the 15 years girls.

Meg O’Brien, too, resumed riding after her kids joined the club and decided to coach as well.

She rode in three races over the three days, her best results sixth placings in both the Cruiser and the 40-44 years women’s classes.

Bluey Harris only started BMX when her son Owen did.

She also competed in three events and finished an impressive third in the Cruiser women.

Other Rockhampton riders to claim podium places were Erin Rook (third in the 17-24 years women), Anaya Whitehead (second in the 13 years girls) and Chayse Ireland (second in the 13 years boys).

A host of other members finished in the top eight.

Finnegan was delighted with her state championship debut, given she had very limited race experience.

“I walked away with a Queensland four plate,” she said.

“It’s my only trophy and it’s displayed proudly in the kitchen.

“My kids were really proud of me, and they were super happy I didn’t crash.

“They even took to the trophy to school for show and tell.”

Finnegan initially agreed to ride to make up the numbers in the over-50s class – but she was glad she got involved.

“Everyone kept saying come on Roz, give it a go, and I kept saying ‘No, no, no’.

“I then thought ‘What’s the worst that can happen?’ and decided to do it.

“I’m so glad I did; it was so much fun.

“The women have camaraderie second to none and they really look after each other and support each other.”

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