Out of the Blue | Shelby Tse | Presented by Schrader’s
By Jeff McConkey
Name: Shelby Tse
Birthday: July 10th, 1995
Hometown: West Kelowna, British Columbia
Occupation: I am a new grad nurse!
Race Club: Future West Productions, CMA
How did you get started in racing?
I picked up riding/racing when my younger brother, Damon, started riding. He’s been the steady rock there that’s always motivated me to try different things, within reason.
As a little girl, did you ever expect to be this deep into a sport like motocross?
As a little girl, I had an unconditional passion towards figure skating so that would be a definite no! Throughout grade school I competed in team sports – Hockey and Rugby – so falling in love with an individual sport has turned my life around.
Do you think motocross is harder for a female to compete in?
Depends how far you take this question, Jeff! Motocross provides an awesome opportunity for females to compete in regardless of age/speed, so simple terms I’d say NO. Now, if we were to go into someone’s diary like Hannah Hodges or Ashley Fiolek I’d say yes. Simply put, the funds aren’t as easy to get. Taking into perspective that stereotypically women are assumed to attend post-secondary school/work earlier than the average younger males, our careers tend to be “cut-short” because we’re expected to get a “career,” get married, have kids and settle down etc. sooner than later. I am not being sexist at all, but it is more difficult for a female to get the same attention/sponsorship to make a profit out of this sport than a male does, ultimately making the road a little harder but never impossible.
Who is your favourite rider and why?
I enjoy watching a variety of riders, but hands down Ken Roczen. I could watch him ride a corner track all day and still have enough drool for my dreams of meeting him personally. He is so smooth in corners and has a very distinct style that makes the word ‘natural’ come to mind.
Is there one lady racer out there that you think has paved the way for other girls to be successful in the sport?
Sara King and Rachel Springman are two awesome ladies to look up to. These two ladies motivated so many girls including myself to try getting behind the gate regardless if I’m sending a double or ground hugging in Arenacross. They consistently show up to all the races and nationals, so this one isn’t going to go to a guy. Their hard work to make female motocross more pronounced in Canada has carried more weight than they even take credit for!
What Canadian Pro do you look up to and why?
The Medaglia brothers – Jeremy and Tyler – are Pros I look up to because they’re a family in the racing industry-siblings; something I definitely look up to coming from being the eldest of 2 brothers and 1 sister who race. They both do really well and I’m sure they both learn off each other which is something my family does consistently.
What is your favourite track and why?
I really enjoy all of the one’s I’ve been fortunate to spin laps on. You’ll find me at the Kelowna track more often than not, but if I had to narrow down the ones I usually go for it would have to be Kelowna or Kamloops. Both have good flow and have the potential for high-speed.
Who is your hero?
My hero is my dad. Without him, my siblings and I wouldn’t be able to enjoy this sport. He is a full-time mechanic/bank/pantry for all 4 of us crazy high maintenance picky riders. Our garage could be on the next hoarders episode because it has to house 6/7 bikes, our other bikes with/without engines, and his tools. He lives through us every time we ride and that I will NEVER be able to thank him enough for, never mind pay back!
What were your goals for this season?
My goals this season were to try to get to a few races in the fall, and to be the best “mom” my sister and brothers could ask for through the Canadian nationals. Also, I wanted to give back during the spring/summer while I was “not risking injury” during studies. I was paid to treat patients at a few races alongside paramedics and I was the 30-second board girl, so that’s how I could still enjoy motocross even when I couldn’t race.
What are your biggest accomplishments?
Because I don’t race as competitively as my younger sister (Kirsten) does, this question is going to be answered a little different. I am very happy to be able to finish school, and get some racing in locally before the outdoor season finished. Knowing I had achieved a 3.78gpa was such a confidence boost it enabled me to finish top 10 in Kelowna without arm pump (Laughs)! Not too bad for a newbie nurse and racer!
What is your favourite part about going to the races?
I love riding my dirt bike but what makes it the best is when I race/ride with my family. Regardless if I’m racing or being the 30-second board girl, I know every race weekend I get to see my family. This sport, among others, keeps my family together. Also, I’m a social butterfly – when I’m not with my family I’m usually enjoying building my ‘moto family’ so to speak. It’s an awesome competitive community that I wouldn’t trade for a candle lit dinner.
What do you like to do when you aren’t racing?
Well, when I’m not a full-time student/slaying 12hr shifts I enjoy cross-fit, hockey, and spending time with family and friends – usually at home or outside. I don’t really party so you’ll always find me doing something that’s active or food motivated.
Is it important to have a motocross racer as a boyfriend/partner, or just a bonus?
Well, whoever it’ll be will have to understand that my free weekends would be most likely spent riding. It’s important for them to understand and respect that aspect, but that doesn’t mean they have to be Pro. Ken Roczen would be a different story though (Laughs)!
If you ever have children, will they be motocross racers ?
That will be their choice! My dad taught us the basics with riding on 2 wheels. He didn’t pressure us into it until we began committing to sponsorships or to a race series. If my children pick up a Strider bike one day and begin standing through whoops or sending jumps over the garden I will definitely enforce more time at the track though! Now that I look back, it’s better starting young!
Who do you want to thank?
I’d like to thank you, Jeff, for making this opportunity possible! My family and friends for helping me get to every weekend along with our sponsors: Kelowna Yamaha and Marine, Valley Moto Sport, Gibson Tyres, EKS Brand, Lime Nine, Fox Head Canada, Mr. Lube Kelowna, Kelowna Manual Therapy, and Matrix Concepts.