Words: Mons Royale
Over the past four days the Mons Royale Future Ground Progression camp has seen the group come together and really enjoy teaching and learning from one another. Breaking down tricks to build them back up from the fundamentals has been key. As well as, getting into the mindset that progression takes time and help from others as well as your own perseverance. Tricks they didn’t think possible on Monday are becoming a reality, as they each strive for progression.
At the beginning of this journey, Mons Royale posed a question about women’s freeriding – for progression to start and then thrive for female freeriding, is it about opportunity or environment? Or both?
The top ten kiwi female freeriders after this camp agree, it’s both. Given the opportunity these riders have proved that a jump in progression can be made with the right environment of like-minded individuals, all becoming a team of leaders in their sport. Given the right tools, some inspiring coaching and fostering that energy, has helped all the riders push themselves outside their own limits.
Ellie Chew who rides for Nitro Circus and has competed on the FISE World Series, Vans BMX Pro Cup series, Urban World Games and Ridden Demos at Xgames all on BMX, is getting dialled this week on her mountain bike. Consistently landing backflips into the bag at Site Trampoline and at Wynyard onto the bag and mulch pit. She has emerged as a person the other riders looked to for advice and was happy to share her knowledge. “I’ve experienced the progression pit with BMX riding and how to break down tricks to build them back up. But it’s cool sharing it with these girls as they are at the beginning of their journey learning tricks and it doesn’t always happen straight away. You can’t be just like, ‘I wanna do this trick’, and it just happens. Some tricks will work for you straight away and some won’t. Even if it might for someone else.
“It’s awesome being in New Zealand and so many girls doing it here. It helps we can all work together and push each other to get better.”
Local Queenstown rider, Emma Olofsson is sore but stoked, “I don’t think that we girls get together enough, but it is kinda hard because half of us probably live in Queenstown and the rest in the North Island and around the country. And there is just so many guys compared to girls riding, so you end up riding with guys. And don’t get me wrong, they help you and push you but it’s different when you are with girls. I feel like when you see a girl doing it, you are like, ‘yeah I can do that’. I mean guys have naturally more muscle, so when we see them doing tricks, it’s easy to think I can’t do that. But here we are learning we can by watching each other and building a community. Everyone has been pushing their limits for sure.”
Mons Royale team rider Louise Ferguson from Queenstown talked about her vision for the future, “When you look at other sports like snow sports, the women there are competing at the highest level and it gives you something to aim to. And you can look at those processes and transfer that across to us, that’s where I want the future to go. More camps like this, using Future Ground as a starting point and a blueprint to recreate it. This week has been epic and I have just loved every minute of learning from all these awesome girls and mentors.”
That sense of community has been building and it really shows that given the opportunity to all meet, ride and learn together has helped everyone to progress. The Future Ground team have also learnt a great deal over the past days in terms of how to organise and build a camp for progression. The team believes so strongly in the Future Ground concept and its benefit to women’s freeride progression that it has already committed to a second Future Ground camp which will be announced in the coming weeks.
For more info go to: www.monsroyale.com/pages/future-ground
Louise Ferguson – Queenstown based (Scotland) @louise_anna__ She/Her
Vinny Armstrong – Queenstown based (Auckland) - @vinnysarmstrong She/Her
Robin Goomes – Rotorua - @robin_riding_hood She/Her
Kalani Muirhead – Wānaka @kalani_muirhead She/Her
Ellie Chew – Kapiti Coast @ellie_chew – She/Her
Charlie Lester-Rosson – Rotorua - @charlie_lesterrosson She/Her
Kathy Morris – Queenstown - @kathy4654 She/Her
Kelsey Timpany – Queenstown - @3kels She/Her
Emma Olofsson – Queenstown @mmurmaider She/Her
Jess Blewitt – Queenstown / Christchurch - @Jessblewitt_ She/Her