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Meet CBR Sport Award Finalist Raynie McNee

Bronwen Stead

On Wednesday 15 November, the finalists of the 2017 CBR Sport Awards were announced with three finalist across each category.

Raynie McNee is one of the finalists in the “Outstanding Contribution” category, for her contribution to the cycling community. While Raynie is being recognized in 2017, her dedication to her chosen sport of cycling extends back many years.

While Raynie is passionate about cycling she is also dedicated to encouraging women and girls to be more active generally in whatever their chosen sport.  For Raynie, it’s not only about the physical aspects but also the associated mental health and social aspects of physical activity.

Beechworth

In creating the Dirt de Femme mountain biking event in 2012, Raynie’s goal was to encourage more women to give mountain biking a try.  This is now an annual event with two courses to cater to a range of skill levels, both beginner and more advanced. The event continues to attract more women each year, with over 200 women participating in 2017. The event attracts not only Canberra women but is increasingly attracting women from other regions and states.

Dirt de Femme is centered around the idea of inclusion and encouraging everyone to have a go and feel supported. Raynie is committed to creating a fun and welcoming atmosphere. Many husbands, boyfriends and children attend the event in support of the female riders which Raynie says is fantastic to see.

Recently, Raynie has incorporated cash prizes into the event for women placing in the top five, designed to give women in sport a ‘leg up’. She hopes that this will have a trickle on effect in encouraging and supporting women in sport. This hope has already been realised on one occasion, with one of the previous winners using her prize earnings to help secure a position in a more expensive race.

The 2018 Dirt de Femme is already set for Sunday 6 May 2018 and promises to be the best yet, with new track changes to keep things fresh and interesting for riders, as well as the addition of a gold sponsor. Raynie hopes that next year’s event will see even more interstate riders come to Canberra to participate.

Raynee McNee

In response to her nomination for the CRB Sport Awards, Raynie says it was completely unexpected and she feels quite overwhelmed.  However, you only need to speak with her for five minutes to not only feel her passion and enthusiasim but also to be affected by it. Raynie has been involved in cycling in Canberra for years and she feels there are many people who contribute to their sports, volunteering and contributing in the background – not for the recognition but simply for the love of it. While she does this for the passion of the sport, she is always touched when she hears from someone she has helped to learn to ride.

Raynie sees the future of female cycling is getting stronger. Regardless of your chosen sport, Raynie encourages all women to set themselves an objective and work hard for it, to not dwell on the barriers and the naysayers and just do your own personal best.

The HerCanberra team congratulate Raynie for her contributions to women in sport and wish her well at the awards ceremony on December 1.

Feature image courtesy of Active Canberra.

Bronwen Stead

Bronwen loves to celebrate life and all things Canberra, which is why she is passionate about writing for HerCanberra and promoting the amazing people and activities that Canberra contains. She is a mother, wife and a creative with a passion for wellbeing and health.

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