‘It’s magic to see’: Next generation of riders thriving

PASSION: Far South Coast Motorcycle Club's Cooper O'Reilly at the Bega Valley Motorcycle Expo at the Bega Showground on Saturday. Picture: Alasdair McDonald
PASSION: Far South Coast Motorcycle Club's Cooper O'Reilly at the Bega Valley Motorcycle Expo at the Bega Showground on Saturday. Picture: Alasdair McDonald

This year’s Bega Valley Motorcycle Expo saw the next generation of riders show off their skills.

Eleven-year-old Cooper O'Reilly was one of many Far South Coast Motorcycle Club members to hit the dirt of the Bega Showground on Saturday in front of a packed grandstand.

It’s magic to see the little kids put on a show, it’s just gold. There’s no other word for it.

Bega Valley Motorcycle Expo organiser Glenn Cotter

The Bemboka resident has been riding motorbikes since he was just three-years-old, and said he enjoys the friendships and thrill of competitive racing the sport brings.

His father Ben said the club has members of all ages involved, and it allows kids with a passion for riding to express themselves.

“They’re a bunch of really good kids,” he said.

“It’s a really good club with good people.”

STYLE: George Parker with deputy mayor Liz Seckold at the Bega Valley Motorcycle Expo on Saturday at the Bega Showground. Picture: Alasdair McDonald

STYLE: George Parker with deputy mayor Liz Seckold at the Bega Valley Motorcycle Expo on Saturday at the Bega Showground. Picture: Alasdair McDonald

Event organiser Glenn Cotter said the day has a strong youth focus, with money from the show going towards the children’s ward of the South East Regional Hospital.

“It’s magic to see the little kids put on a show, it’s just gold. There’s no other word for it,” Mr Cotter said.

“The event is all about family, and the kids, they were buzzing all day.

“Their arena entertainment set the show.

FRIENDSHIP: Far South Coast Motorcycle Club's Joe, Levi, Harry, Nate, Charlie, Cooper and Ashton on Saturday. Picture: Alasdair McDonald

FRIENDSHIP: Far South Coast Motorcycle Club's Joe, Levi, Harry, Nate, Charlie, Cooper and Ashton on Saturday. Picture: Alasdair McDonald

“The kids are already throwing ideas at us for what they want to do next year,” he said.

Bega Valley Shire councillor and deputy mayor Liz Seckold also helped open the show, and stressed the positive role motorcycles play in creating positive mental health outcomes for many Australians.

“I remember once as a young student I got a lift from Sydney University down to Central Station. It was the 1960s, I had a tight skirt on and I literally could not got off the bike. I had to be lifted off,” Ms Seckold said with a laugh.

Mr Cotter said 1000 people passed through the gates on the day, with many travelling from across the region, spending the weekend in town, and bringing money into the local economy.

“It brings a lot of money into town through people staying in accommodation and eating around town,” he said.

“We’re already starting to talk about plans for next year and even 2020, which will be our tenth anniversary.

“I’m rapt, the event went really well.”

He said guest appearances from 2015 Australian Long Track Champion Jake Schneider and a ride along in an extreme buggy were personal highlights.

“My highlight was doing laps and jumps with Matt Lavis in one of the extreme buggies. It was insane,” Mr Cotter said.

Over 50 bikes were entered in the annual Show ‘n’ Shine competition with Nigel Longford, Julie Martin and Ellie Monahan taking home awards.

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