26 October 2022

Regional sports conference offers advice for new Batemans Bay Mountain Bike Club ahead of opening

| Katrina Condie
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Bike rider in bush

Batemans Bay Mountain Bike Club president Jamie Clout attended the regional sporting conference ahead of the club’s official opening on 1 November. Photo: BBMTB Club.

Representatives from the newly formed Batemans Bay Mountain Bike (MTB) Club were among dozens of sporting groups that had an opportunity to pitch their ideas to government representatives at the region’s first sports conference held at Batemans Bay.

Held over two packed days, 14 and 15 October, the South East and Tablelands Regional Sports and Recreation Conference involved more than 60 representatives of local sporting organisations and government agencies who shared strategies and plans for the region.

Mountain Bike Club president Jamie Clout said he gained valuable information that would help kick-start the new group ahead of its inaugural meeting.

From learning about the significance of a welcome to country by Indigenous elder Owen Carriage, to understanding the process of applying for grants, Jamie said the content was relevant and he appreciated the networking opportunities.

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With the club open to memberships from 1 November, Jamie said it had been great to be able to chat with local media and officials from the NSW Office of Sport and the Australian Sports Commission.

“The conference was very helpful in providing information on the broader importance of sports clubs in the modern era, to build community and help with mental health,” he said.

“I got firsthand information on coaching and development from experienced, world-class coaches, and child-safe frameworks.”

The club formed in August 2022 after 35 local riders gathered at the Broulee Brewhouse. They will be holding social events to launch the club in the first week of November.

Jamie said Eurobodalla Shire Council delivery of the Mogo Adventure Trails would create 150 kilometres of mountain bike trails, significantly extending the current 30 km track.

“The aim of the club is to support and advocate for the trails, to hold races, and to deepen and broaden mountain bike riding in the local community with non-competitive riding and social opportunities,” he said.

“Women and juniors will be a specific focus for the club.”

The council’s recreation coordinator and event organiser Tina Smith said the passion from each speaker had been “incredible”.

“They had such great insights to boosting participation in sport and active recreation,” Ms Smith said.

“It was great to see attendees taking notes and asking questions throughout the conference.”

Ms Smith said more than 60 people registered for the conference, with varying numbers attending the different presentations.

“There were representatives from a kayak tour business, veterans’ cricket and surf clubs, to name a few,” she said.

“To see a greater attendance of local sport and recreation representatives would have increased the networking opportunities, which is what we hoped for.”

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Ms Smith said the council was looking towards further partnership opportunities with the NSW Office of Sport in future to continue to build the capacity of the local community.

“It was valuable for different agencies to be in the same room talking with the community about participation and facilities, as well as modern approaches to coaching and how to create inclusive club cultures,” she said.

Helen Palombo of the Nature Coast Dragon Boat Club said it had been great to learn about the different levels of government and their role in sport and recreation.

“The conference helped reinforce our club’s core vision, which is to build community,” she said.

“It is a welcoming group of community people.”

Ms Palombo said the club was focused on growing member numbers to support those who want to compete.

Anyone interested in joining the Batemans Bay Mountain Bike Club can check out its Facebook page.

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