The 2021 editions of the Willo Camp, a junior development camp for up and coming mountain bikers, was held at Bayview Conservation Park in early February and at Welby MTB Park on the NSW Southern Highlands. The high quality mountain bike trails and skills area were well utilised in helping the 17 young riders in QLD and the 25 riders at Welby to develop their bike control, knowledge of bike mechanics, training, and trail etiquette.
The Willo Junior Development Program was set up in honour of James Williamson, a champion mountain biker from the Southern Highlands, who passed away from a heart condition while racing in South Africa over ten years ago now. Managed by Rocky Trail Entertainment and run by Ride Technics, the 2-day clinic targets juniors in various states, with the aim to improve their riding and racing ability.
There were many tired but smiling riders by the end of the two days. And the coaches were pleased with how the event went. James’ legacy continues with these clinics, as well as through the race that funds them, The Willo Race, held this Sunday, 28 February at Sparrow Hill in the ACT.
The Willo Marathon race has established itself as one of the top mountain bike marathons on the Australian cycling racing calendars and it has become an annual reminder to all riders of the joys of mountain biking as well as the impact James had on the sport. Every race participant will be instantly taken by the relaxed and friendly nature of the race, which in fact does reflect on James and the camaraderie that mountain biking brings for all. The race circuit is a 20-25km loop at Sparrow and Kowen Forests in Canberra and there are various distance classifications across adult and junior age groups, plus fun kids races for little riders in the event centre.
The Willo Junior Clinics and Marathon will always be celebrating the memory of a great man and Rocky Trail Entertainment will make sure that the future of this inspiring event will be bright.