IN THE PAPER

Moyross bikers push safety

A new club is trying to combat the dangers of motocross in Moyross, by teaching young people how to ride motorbikes safely.

The club began as a bicycle club approximately 10 years ago, and has transitioned into a motocross club within the last 12-months. Motocross is a form of off-road motorbike racing, and has becoming a popular sport all over the country.

The club was set up by Andrew O’Byrne of the Moyross Youth Academy, and Andy Meek, who has worked in the Moyross area for 20 years.

Funded by the Department of Justice as part of the Garda Youth Diversion Project, the race team of four young men meet once a week to train, practice racing, and maintain their three race bikes. The team behind the project aim to provide a safe space for young people to ride their motorbikes, and teach them how to properly care for the machines.

“We do what we can do to try to tell them, not to stop what they’re doing, but to stop where they’re doing it,” said Mr. O’ Byrne.

The club has recently lost its practice space due to the land being used for building, so sessions are currently focussed on bike maintenance and physical training while they search for a new space.

Damian Gavin became involved with the running of the club through the Garda Youth Diversion Project, and says the experience has been overwhelmingly positive. The team travel to approximately eight competitions per year, where they can race against other teams around the country as well as individual competitors.

“I can’t express the adrenaline they’d feel coming off the track because I’m not on the bike, but I get excited for them because I see the smile on their faces,” Mr Gavin said.

He explained that the club is not about promoting a dangerous sport, but rather aims to regulate and provide education on a sport that is increasing in popularity. “Accidents will happen, and they will continue to happen unless we provide an area that is safe and regulated.

“We’re doing what we can to take something that is inevitable – take it and make it safer,” he added.

According to Andy Meek, the club has positively impacted the boys and has sparked their interest in learning more about the bikes. “They enjoy the challenge of it so that’s after starting them off,” he said. The team hopes to expand and get some more of the young people in the area involved. The motocross club meet every Wednesday at 7pm.

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