Adventure sports fare well in Mid West as mountain biker Marissa Drummond wins senior athlete of year

Reuben CarderGeraldton Guardian
Senior Sports Star of the Year Marissa Drummond with her award.
Camera IconSenior Sports Star of the Year Marissa Drummond with her award. Credit: Geraldton Guardian

From sailboarding to mountain biking — adventure sports have been well represented in two recent senior sports star of the year wins at the Geraldton Guardian Mid West Sports Awards.

Mountain biker Marissa Drummond won this year’s senior gong on Friday night, despite the fact she could not compete locally.

With no events to take part in, developing and benefiting from community support was key for sports such as biking to grow, she said.

“Mountain biking has started to take off in WA, and to see it recognised, especially in the Mid West, is really great to see,” Drummond said. “The mountain bike club in Geraldton does a lot of work to support the sport with kids. It’s really nice to have that acknowledged.

“I think the thing that stands out for me is the community support the whole way through.”

She said the locality did have good mountain biking spots — the Chapman River and Greenough River trails — and a lot of the work the local mountain biking community did was on building up the sport through things such as teaching safety to family groups, and conducting free coaching clinics.

For those looking to ride, Greenough River was not quite as technical as Chapman River, but both were accessible, she said.

Drummond’s win came after Geraldton windsurfer Jaeger Stone — ranked one of the best in the world — won recognition in 2019 for his wave-sailing exploits, including winning the Red Bull Storm Chase event in a gale off Northern Ireland.

Windsurfing competition is also hard to come by locally, with plans for a Professional Windsurfing Association event for Geraldton postponed because of international border closures.

The awards did not run last year because of COVID-19, so this year’s event included two years worth of nominations.

Mid West Sports Federation chair Mike Bowley said community togetherness had helped.

“The speakers really spoke from the heart in thanking the people all around them and their communities,” he said.

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