Australian International Pedal Prix Incorporated, the organising body of the UniSA Australian HPV Super Series, is considering the possibility of a number of races/events specifically for primary school teams in 2022.
During the course of this year’s events, Primary School teams had the opportunity to race at Adelaide’s Victoria Park on the Friday of the Round 3 UniSA AHPVSS race weekend. The entire day, race and track was devoted to the category with some 45 vehicles in action. Reaction from teams and riders reflected positively on the format and with no other categories on track, Pembroke School’s Next Gen took line honours from Crafers Primary School Comet and Murray Bridge North Primary School’s The Beast.
A key contributing factor is the shift of Year 7’s to high school from 2022. The primary school category will be able to draw upon two year levels (5 and 6), allowing for the continuation of learning from one year to the next for both the riders and also the parents. The shift to the separate competition opens the door to finding safe pathways for younger year levels to take part, in year 6, 5 and hopefully below.
Providing these younger competitors with their own space and tempo on track will enhance safety and enjoyment for participants. These changes are also being considered with some category modifications.
“The ongoing development of HPV racing is a key component of our focus,” said CEO Marcus Lacey. “We are looking at ways to increase the opportunity for participation and improve safety all the time. The concept of stand-alone primary school races/events may well be a positive move in this direction, with more trikes able to take to the track in the younger age group, and entry capacity then able to increase in other categories as well. What’s more, the speed differential between the faster adult categories and the younger riders will be removed in such an event, making them inherently more safe,” he added.
The potential benefits of races/events specifically for primary school teams include:
*enhanced safety through lower vehicle speed differentials
*the opportunity to deliver more specific experiences targeting primary school age students including rider education development, trike maintenance, benefits of active recreation, teamwork, and sustainability
*category alignment with the now standardised year/age grouping across primary and high schools
*creation of a platform of events to showcase the talent, competitiveness, and community of the primary school riders and teams
*the opportunity for riders in the primary school ages to race for the chequered flag in their own right
*provide capacity for growth and development of the primary school category, and increase the overall participation capacity of HPV/Pedal Prix racing
“Clearly there are potential benefits to the concept. Equally, many questions remain. Questions around locations, venues, resources, viability, and so on. We will be looking carefully at the concept and try to consider all aspects moving forward,” said Lacey.