Out of the Blue | Mckenna Kameka | Presented by Schrader’s

By Jeff McConkey

‘Out of the Blue’ is brought to you by Schrader’s

Name: Mckenna Kameka

Birthday: October 20, 1995

Hometown: Corunna, Ontario

Occupation: Certified Gymnastics Coach at Bluewater Gymnastics Club and brand representative for Blue Buffalo Canada

Number: 709

Bike: CRF 150f

Race Club: Mini Thunder, with hopes of being a competitor in the TVR or AMO ladies classes in 2017

Classes: 150 Trailbike

Corunna, Ontario’s #709 Mckenna Kameka is the subject of this week’s ‘Out of the Blue Presented by Schrader’s’ | Photo supplied by Mckenna Kameka

How did you get started into racing?

I got into racing through the Honda Red Rider program back when I was 4 or 5.  Once I outgrew that bike, my dad continued to buy me bigger bikes.  During high school, I was forced to take a few years off to rehab a torn ACL, MCL, and broken patella (from racing) and then got heavily involved in wrestling and rugby.  After high school, I was recruited to the Varsity Wrestling team at Lakehead University.  After dislocating my shoulder, tearing my rotator cuff and labrum, as well as getting a few pins in my shoulder, I took a step back from wrestling and got right back on my bike.

As a little girl, did you ever expect to be this deep into a sport like motocross?

This is a tough question, yes and no.  Growing up I was never your average little girl; you’d always find me outside with the boys building jumps for our bikes or just playing in the mud.  But at the time, I was also a competitive gymnast (what a weird combo).  After a few nasty get offs and a few broken bones, it was decided that it was time to take a break from my bike.  So in the middle of high school, while rehabbing my knee, I took a few years off as well as giving up gymnastics.  Continuing to race motocross after that seemed like more of a dream rather than a legitimate option, but my perseverance and love for the sport brought me right back.

Do you think motocross is harder for a female to compete in?

Yes and no.  Women’s motocross has come a long way over the past few years, but I’ve also been racing against boys and men my entire life, and their size is a huge advantage! Little 5-foot-4 me has some trouble picking my bike up off of myself (Laughs).

What does Mckenna do when she’s not racing? “If I’m not racing, you can usually find me coaching gymnastics or front row at any pop punk concert.” | Manaquot Photography photo

Who is your favourite rider and why?

I can never pick a favourite rider in particular, but if I had to choose, I’d say Jason Anderson or Aaron Plessinger. Both of these riders have unique riding styles and they’re always fun to watch.  They both seem like rad guys off the track as well!

Is there one lady racer out there that you think has paved the way for other girls to be successful in the sport?

I think any girl that can build up the confidence to throw a leg over a bike has been a part of “paving the way” for other successful females in the sport.  In particular, I really look up to Vicki Golden.  Not only has she been the first female to break top 10 in AMA Arenacross (2011), first female to qualify for an AMA Supercross Night Show (2011), first female to complete Ricky Carmichael’s Road to Supercross (2015), as well as countless X Games medals, she is also an all-around awesome girl! I had the pleasure of meeting her after the Toronto Supercross this past year. She’s an excellent role model for any little girl, motocross racer or not.

What Canadian Pro do you look up to and why?

That’s an easy choice, Cole Thompson.  I grew up taking lessons as well as several MX Schools camps with the entire Thompson family.  I’ve seen first-hand some of the hard work that he, as well as his family, has put in to get to where he is now and I find it very inspiring.

What is your favourite track and why?

I’d have to say the Shady Oaks is my favourite track.  Just the track itself is so fun and the riders and owners are always beyond friendly.  I’m also a huge fan of Walton; the TransCan is the best part of the summer!

What were your goals for this season?

The main goal was to be completely injury-free as well as having one hell of a summer.  Placing top 3 as well as lining up for at least one Canadian National Arenacross were on the list too.  All goals accomplished, by the way!

“I think any girl that can build up the confidence to throw a leg over a bike has been a part of “paving the way” for other successful females in the sport.” | Manaquot Photography photo

What are your biggest accomplishments?

My biggest accomplishment on a bike would have to be when I raced the first round of the Rockstar Energy Canadian National Arenacross Tour, in Sarnia, Ontario.  My results weren’t exactly what I was hoping for but after hitting the dirt pretty hard and completely knocking myself out in qualifying, I was proud of myself to be able to line up for the night show and pull off a 4th.  Off the bike, my biggest accomplishment would have to be my 2011 Canadian Wrestling National and Provincial Championships for my weight class.

What is your favourite part about going to the races?

My favourite part about going to the races is definitely the people.  I have met so many of my closest friends through this sport and the all-around atmosphere at the track is incredible.  The motocross community feels like one big family that is ready to have some fun (Laughs).

What do you like to do when you aren’t racing?

The only time I’m not racing is during our brutal Canadian winters (but I’d love to give ice racing a try!) or if I’m broken.  If I’m not racing, you can usually find me coaching gymnastics or front row at any pop punk concert (I’m huge fan of Warped Tour!).

Is it important to have a motocross racer as a boyfriend/husband, or just a bonus?

Personally, I think it’s just a bonus.  As long as my boyfriend can put up with me being at the track all the time and my constant motocross lingo, then we will get along fine (and he’s catching on very quickly!)

If you ever have children, will they be motocross racers?

If they want to ride, there will definitely be a bike in the garage for them!

Who do you want to thank?

I’d like to thank Todd Kendel and all the guys at WCK Honda, Jeff VanderSlagt at the Canadian Back Institute for helping me through my multiple injuries, mxschools.com, my dad/mechanic for making sure I have bikes that are race ready, the entire Thompson family for all of the hard work they’ve put into our local motocross community over the years, Mason and Christy with M. Anoquot Photography, my boyfriend Peter for always being by my side, as well as Jeff McConkey and Direct Motocross for this opportunity.