Amateur Open | Supplemental Editorial

By Billy Rainford

Going to the races is a joy for me. I love showing up and reconnecting with the racers, their families, the track owners, and the series organizers. Canadian Motocross is a family and I’m happy to be included. As a journalist, I have the power to project my opinion onto others, be it good or bad, right or wrong.

This past weekend at Sand Del Lee, I had numerous people strike up a conversation about things they perceive to be going on at the Sunday Amateur Open Regional Championships, and that’s where this supplemental editorial gets its origin.

Far be it from me to intentionally kick a hornets’ nest. The last thing I need in my life is a bunch of angry wasps chasing me! Having said that, it looks as if I’ve taken a big old swing at one with what I wrote in my Monday Morning Coffee column.

My Monday column is where I usually take my only chance at editorial content where I inject some opinion. I usually take a page out of Joe Friday‘s book from Dragnet and give, “Just the facts, ma’am“, but Monday Morning Coffee is a mix of fact and opinion.

Added to this, I give myself a deadline of 12:00 noon Eastern Time to have the column up on the site, to make sure it actually lands on people’s computers in the morning. This deadline can lead to several things I’m not always happy about, namely…rushing.

Keeping everything I just said in mind, I still stand by what I said in my ‘rant’ from this past Monday. The only thing I’m now regretting is not showing the other side of the story.

The other side of the story comes from, of course, the ones actually putting on the races — Jetwerx.

My livelihood comes directly from the health of the sport of Motocross in Canada; the last thing I want to do is cause it any damage. I believe my reputation stands with this as a major point.

My goal with pointing out some of the discussions I had with amateur racers and their parents this past weekend at Sand Del Lee was to bridge the gap between the organizers and the racing families. It seems this was necessary.

Unfortunately, I hit my noon deadline and hit the submit button without pointing out the huge benefits and steps forward we have made with these Amateur Open events:

  • 6′ trophies
  • #1 plates handed out
  • live stream with 2 announcers
  • 5 camera guys, a director, a switcher and full production
  • banners and podium like the Pros
  • trophy presentation
  • National coverage
  • more prestigious events in Canada

All of these things add up to what should be an extremely professional setting for our up-and-coming racers to enjoy. Jetwerx is in its first year running the series and came out of the gate with a very solid and professional package for racers and families. We now have a really solid platform to move forward from. These Amateur Open events have the potential to be huge for our sport at the amateur level, and that’s what we need.

I guess the argument is that these steps forward cost money. None of this is happening without added cost. Do we want these Regional Championships to continue to grow in number and prestige? I sure do!

I’m actually happy my post opened the flood gates to more conversation and, hopefully, an increased understanding from both sides of the equation.

I know that as soon as I press ‘SUBMIT’ on this editorial column, more people will chime in with their concerns, but I do not want this to turn into a mud slinging session. If you have something constructive to add, by all means do so.

What I didn’t want happening is for families to walk around on these weekends upset and talking with each other and then maybe even not going to the next race. That helps nobody.

I don’t work for the series. I don’t work for the riders. I don’t work for the families. When things happen right in front of me at the races, it is my JOB as a journalist (Yes, I even took some Journalism at University!) to report on it. However, it is also my job to be fair and give both sides of the story. That is what I’m sorry about here and why I chose to add this supplemental editorial.

I want to show up this weekend at Gopher Dunes to smiling faces on the racers, families, track owners, and organizers. Nobody benefits from resentment that can build from a lack of open communication. If you have concerns, talk to the people in charge. They’re actually very open to that conversation.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Like I said, my goal is for this sport to continue to grow. I’m not in charge of the decisions that make those changes. No, I’m here to report on what happens at the races, no matter how they go or who runs them. That’s not my concern. My concern is journalistic integrity.

I stand by what was said on Monday because it was directly from the mouths of the people indirectly paying for all this — the riders and families.

Let’s all work together to make our series as great as it can be. Now, how do you get bees back into a smashed nest?