Mighty 11’s Trialling

Mighty 11’s Trialling

Hello BMX NZ members.

This message is my first communication to you all & it is unfortunate that the subject is of such a contentious nature. But it is a very important communication to me as I wish to make sure we can move forward from this with both sides of the story being explained so people can make an informed view on the situation.
The following detail is to portray BMX NZ Council’s process to make the decision it has. The issue at hand, as seen online, in the local Waikato newspaper & also on social media, is regarding a New Zealand citizen living in Australia wishing to trial for the Mighty 11s team.

First of all I wish to cover the Mighty 11’s team. From New Zealand’s point of view, it is a process where, the goal of getting on the team fosters growth of the kids, their performance & the competitive sport in New Zealand. Once selected, the aim is to build a team in New Zealand, where they can grow & compete well as a cohesive unit against the best of what BMXNSW (Australia through the auspicious of BMX NSW) can throw at them. On top of that, Mighty11’s was built to be a growth & cultural exchange, where the kids would be, & still are, billeted out to families, get see another country & share a new cultural experience.

Next, the Mighty11’s team is almost predominantly funded by BMX NZ. From coaches, management, flights, uniforms to food & drink. These costs are funded from membership fees paid by the New Zealand membership each year and also grant applications to cover shortfalls. A small fee is asked of each team member to assist in the costs, which adds a level of personal financial attachment & responsibility to their team members to do their best.

So to the situation we have now, while being the first time, may not be the last.
The rider in question left New Zealand with his family and they have not been part of the BMX scene in New Zealand since that time. He has not been a member of BMXNZ for the last two seasons, i.e. 2014 & 2015.

We completely understand he is a New Zealand Citizen.  This is not a requirement of the Mighty 11s.

We understand he has been a fantastic rider in Australia & has gained some great results there. BMX NZ accepts he could potentially make a great rider for a Mighty 11s Team, subject to trial outcomes.

BMX NZ’s issue is that the Mighty11’s has been put in place to support BMX racing in New Zealand. This rider has not been part of that scene for approximately the last two seasons and BMX NZ wants to give the kids who have been actively part of the New Zealand BMX membership every opportunity to trial for the Mighty 11s team.

BMX NZ has nothing against this rider, nor are we targeting him.

On the other hand, I’d like for you to take the time to consider another scenario:

There are other kiwis in Australia, or even around the world. At any given year, these expats could trial for the Mighty 11s team. If there one, two, three or even four that got through to a team, then BMX NZ would have to fund & support people who have had no input to the sport in New Zealand.

Then also, if kids in the New Zealand BMX scene missed a chance to be picked, due to these expats taking some or all of the positions, what benefit does that offer to the New Zealand BMX scene?

Once the racing is over, win or lose, they disappear back to their homes overseas & BMX in New Zealand loses all that talent that other New Zealand kids could feed off. Talent that BMX NZ just paid for their trip to Australia out of BMX NZ Members fees… These costs associated with the Test Teams, which is happily paid, it a significant cost to BMX NZ each year.

So to put some records straight.

Media – Never believe everything you read in the media, especially social media. It is usually one side of the story skewed to sensationalise & get readership. BMX NZ was not given an appropriate amount of time to respond to questions regarding the eligibility of non-residing New Zealand riders who want to trial for the Mighty 11s team. Citizenship – World Championship events are based on UCI rules that demands riders to ride for their country of citizenship. The Mighty 11s is not a UCI event & does not require this. There is no comparison here at all.

Membership & Conditions of Entry – The rider in question does not hold BMX NZ membership & has not for the last two New Zealand seasons.

Something to note, riders must be available to attend all team training sessions in New Zealand & travel with the team from New Zealand.

Summary

BMX NZ regrets that this rider will miss trialling for Mighty 11’s, but we have chosen to give the riders who reside in New Zealand who are part of the local scene, the chance to trial over those that have chosen not to be part of the New Zealand BMX scene. This is a large picture decision to foster the BMX scene in New Zealand for those that ride here, as that is what the underlying mantra of the Mighty 11 experience is about.

You may agree with this or you may not & within the BMX NZ Council there were voices both ways, but BMX NZ has made a decision to benefit the greater membership rather than one individual which is truly unfortunate for this rider.

Apologies for the length of the message, but we wanted to fully express our side of the decision making process. Should you wish to discuss this further, please take the time to personally approach a council member or myself.

Regards

Dion Earnest
Executive Officer
BMX New Zealand

Michael Batterton
Chairman
BMX New Zealand

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