Motocross racer Gage Matwiy, 10, gained new experiences, new friends, and new knowledge from his first national competition.
The Sylvan Lake racer competed in the Parts Canada TransCan Amateur Grand National Championship Motocross in Walton, Ontario, last week. Out of three rounds and 26 competitors, Gage came in 22nd, 15th, and 19th, said his mother Natasha. He had an overall standing of 19th in his division.
“It was really, really hard. I didn’t expect it to be that hard. It was a learning experience and I’m excited for next year to go,” Gage said. He added that he learned to be more aggressive, and to stand up more on his bike while riding.
“The track was in mint condition. It felt really good. It was very fluid,” he said.
He felt good about competing with the top riders from Alberta, Canada and the United States.
“I’m proud of him. He rode really well and he learned a lot from the experience,” said Natasha. She added that the racetrack was new to him, and difficult.
According to the event website, Canadian racers qualify after riding in Amateur National Qualifiers races. Each province has a certain number of spaces available. Alberta has seven positions.
“I’m proud of him because he still was one of the top kids to make it to the race,” said Natasha. “He has proved his riding to be competing against that calibre of other riders.”
Gage was chosen to participate in a competition pitting racers from Eastern and Western Canada against each other, held the last day of the championship. He said he was chosen because he had raced hard and because he had stayed for the entire competition. Eastern Canada ended up winning.
To prepare for the event, Gage worked on racing technique and core strength.
“I think I was pretty well-prepared. I ate lots of healthy snacks this weekend,” he said.
Competitors and their families camped in a field near the racetrack. Natasha said Gage met a lot of new friends, all of whom were encouraging of each other.
“They’re all motocross buddies and they ride hard,” she said.
The Grand Amateur Nationals took place Aug. 14-19. Professional riders took to the track the last day, and Gage was able to meet them after.
“It was a fun experience and something we’re really looking forward to coming back to next year,” said Natasha. “The whole experience, being out on the track with the other riders, it was just phenomenal.”
Natasha said Gage is grateful to his supporters and sponsors, including Trilliant Real Estate Group, Complete Athlete, Showdown Merchandising, Turple Bros. Ltd., Sonic Welding, TRT Welding Services, Whaler Industrial, Printwerx, Philsner Welding, DC Crane Services, Hazard County Fitting and Welding, No Weaklings Racing, and especially his parents.