From Emerald to the World Stage
Emerald’s very own BMX prodigy, Maggie McDougall, has been making waves on the world stage with her impressive performance at the 2022 UCI BMX World Challenge in Nantes, France. Placing 24th in the world, Maggie has become a role model for young athletes everywhere.
According to Maggie, her BMX journey started when she was just 3 years old.
“I watched my sister on track one day and it looked fun, so I decided to give it a go!”
From then on, she began training at the local track in Biloela, and when her family moved to Emerald, she transferred her membership to the BMX club there that only had six members at the time.
Despite the limited resources and coaching opportunities in Emerald, Maggie’s natural talent and drive have propelled her to success. She trains every day at the local track where Maggie’s father serves as her coach,
“I don’t have a BMX coach. It’s very hard to get coaches out here. My dad is my coach basically. He knows me best,” said Maggie.
Maggie’s dedication to her sport is evident in her rigorous training regime, which includes regular sessions and extra leg training with her CrossFit coach Reece at Vivid gym.
“Reece pushes me and is very involved in all my races. I train with him two mornings a week before school at the gym.”
Maggie also values the camaraderie she shares with her teammates, who she calls her best friends.
“We train together every afternoon at the track, and we always have each other’s backs.”
This strong sense of community and support has been instrumental in helping Maggie develop as an athlete and reach new heights in her sport.
Maggie has made friends from all over the world through her sport, and the connections she has made are just as valuable to her as her successes. Her dedication to BMX has also taught her valuable life skills.
“If I have BMX on, I make sure all my school work is done. I had a fair bit of time off last year for BMX travel and I still managed to get the academic award for my class.”
She has also been working hard to manage her nerves, a common challenge among young athletes, sharing that while she gets nervous, it’s something she’s aiming to overcome.
However, Maggie’s journey has not been without its obstacles. At the 2021 Nationals, Maggie fell off her bike during the first heat and was injured. The incident left her feeling upset and emotional.
“Mum couldn’t calm me down, it was so emotional,” Maggie revealed.
Despite this setback, Maggie managed to pull herself together and make it into the finals by just one point.
Looking to the future, Maggie has big dreams and hopes to represent Australia at the Olympics someday. She is excited about the challenges ahead and believes that her passion for BMX will continue to drive her towards success.
Maggie is heading off again in August to Glasgow in Scotland. She will be riding two classes, on a 20” and 24” bike. Her mother admits that it’s been a bit of a financial stretch to get her there, but she has some amazing sponsors come on board who believe in her and are supporting her journey.
Maggie’s story is an inspiration to young athletes everywhere. Her dedication to her sport, hard work, and perseverance have helped her achieve great things. She is proof that anything is possible if you are willing to put in the effort and stay focused on your goals. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for this talented young BMX rider from Emerald.