WHEN Shallan Pompe gets on the BMX track she relishes the chance to unleash what she is made of and what she can do - what girls can do.
Shallan wants more women and girls across the region to give the adrenaline-filled sport a try. Her BMX club Rush, a Ballarat-Sebastopol Cycling Club division, is hosting a mentoring series this month for those new to the sport or wanting to give it a try.
This is a little like how Shallan got into BMX riding, watching other girls flying past, and meeting Olympic BMX rider Caroline Buchanan then fuelled her inspiration.
"I love how passionate (Caroline) is and how much fun she is," Shallan said. "In BMX, I love the adrenaline, the (fire) to get the win and the chance to be a good role model and rider. There's a chance to show who you are, a pride."
I love the adrenaline, the (fire) to get the win and the chance to be a good role model and rider.Shallan Pompe
Rush's mentoring sessions aim to boost female participation across all ages.
When Shallan competed at nationals in Shepparton this year there were 22 contenders in her 16-girls age group this was compared to the 80-strong field her brother faced.
Elite riders will be brought in to Ballarat to offer advice and skills. This includes 12-year-old Portia Eden, from Cairns, who is a UCI world champion in her age group. Portia is trained by Olympian Lauren Reynolds.
Bendigo-based Australian champion Jaclyn Wilson will also be on track one session.
Rush has experienced a massive facilities boost the past year, winning almost $200,000 from the state government's pick my project. This allowed Rush to become the first club in the state with a sealed all-weather track at its Marty Busch base.
The club also received a $10,000 City of Ballarat community impact grant to purchase bikes, helmets and gloves last week with plans to bring more people to the sport and break financial barriers of getting out on track.
Ballarat-Sebastopol Rush BMX Club's women and girls program runs on October 19, 26, 27 and November 19 at the Marty Busch track from 10am.
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Iesha's turn to take her racing up a gear
Meanwhile, Shallan and fellow Eureka scholarship recipient Alaya Humber, a track rider, welcomed new scholarship winner Iesha Humber on Sunday.
Iesha, who is Alaya's younger sister, is a determined competitor on road and track with Ballarat-Sebastopol Cycling Club and on human powered vehicles with Rode Rage.
Eureka Cycling Club veteran riders launched the scholarship last year, in a move to encourage greater and sustained female participation in cycling disciplines. Their focus is on helping junior females to help take their game to the next level.
Iesha's track coach Damien Keirl plans to put her against elite competition in the Tasmanian track Christmas carnival, from Boxing Day.
Three years ago Iesha, then aged 12, teamed up with her dad to ride more than 1400 kilometres anticlockwise around Tasmania to raise money for Ballarat's Fiona Elsey Cancer Research Institiute.
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