| Dec 06, 2007

Feature Article - December 6, 2007

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Local _boys_BMXFeature Article - December 6, 2007 Mini ATV Racing: The Latest Craze in Children's SportsBy Kate Brown, S.L.H.S. It’s difficult to determine at what age a child becomes a ball of never-ending energy because it seems as if they are hardwired this way from the day they are born. In an attempt to burn some of this energy, most parents involve their child in an activity, hoping that after a few hours of non-stop movement, the kid will have tuckered himself out for the night. Sports such as baseball, soccer, hockey and gymnastics have become or have always been popular options, but what about an alternative for those who are looking for something different? Something new and exciting, that not only provides an adrenaline rush for the child involved but entertainment for the parents and fans that are watching as well?

Recently, the racing of mini ATVs has exploded into popularity throughout the province, with hundreds of children participating in the many events that are hosted to showcase the sport. At the present time, there are four mini ATV racing series in Ontario, including the Maguires Motocross Series (MMRS), the Canadian Motorcycle Association (CMA), CMX Racing (CMX) and the Canadian Motorsports Racing Club (CMRC). And although the sport has taken on a rough reputation, due to the assumed dangers that are attached to it, many measures have been taken in order to ensure that the children involved are racing safely.

Two of these children are sister and brother Sarah and Connor Rafferty (ages 11 and 7), who are residents of Verona and who have been competing for the past 3 years in Ontario mini ATV racing under the team name SISBRO (short for sister brother racing). During the past 2007 season, both Sarah and Connor raced in the CMA Series, as well as some of the CMX and MMRS series and couldn’t have asked for better results. In this year’s CMA Provincial Championship, Connor won first in the 70cc modified class, which is a class for children aged 7-11. He also took on the title of Iron Man because he won the TT Series, MX Series and Cross Country Series. Sarah did just as well this year, placing first in the CMX Provincial Championships, in the 90cc stock class, second in the CMA stock class and third in the CMA modified class. Both have not only shown an incredible aptitude for the sport but have improved skills such as focus and stamina, as well.

The best thing about motocross racing, though, is the family atmosphere that surrounds it. Allowing parents to race in the events have accomplished this as well, in classes separate from their children. The importance of family is always promoted and parents are very much encouraged to attend their children’s events whenever they compete.

An activity that has always been considered more of a dangerous pastime than a sport has become more and more recognized as a safe sport, since the organization of proper series, such as the ones mentioned previously and improved safety equipment, which the children are required to wear during any race. For children who race regularly, the equipment includes a Department of Transportation (DOT) approved helmet or goggles, a motocross jersey with elbow and shoulder padding, front and back chest protector, motocross gloves with finger padding, a kidney belt, motocross pants with hip and knee pads, and motocross boots with ankle protection. As well, the children are all extremely well trained and practiced before they are allowed to compete.

Websites such as http://www.cmrcracing.com and http://cmxracing.ca/ offer more information about the sport, such as the classes of racing and equipment costs, along with registration forms.

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