MOTOCROSS: Two Central Queensland clubs feature prominently on Motorcycling Queensland's 2017 honour roll.
The Keppel Coast Dirt Bike Club and the Rockhampton and District Motocross Club have taken out several awards and are also in contention for some of the state's most prestigious, which will be presented at a gala awards night next month.
There are 84 clubs affiliated with Motorcycling Queensland. Its operations manager Michael Brown said the two CQ clubs were not the biggest in the state and were certainly "punching above their weight” when it came to their awards success.
Keppel Coast won the Most Improved Club of the Year and its popular annual Freight Solutions Yeppoon Enduro-X is one of three vying for Event of the Year.
Rockhampton is one of three finalists for Club of the Year. Its hard-working president and race secretary, husband and wife team Peter and Debbie Dark, received the President's Appreciation Award and are also in the race for Official of the Year.
Keppel Coast president Paul Warr said it was exciting news for his club, whose foundation member Lynne Rice would also be recognised for 20 years of service.
"Lynne's held numerous roles within the club over those years and her wealth of experience is extremely valuable to the committee,'' Warr said.
"We certainly value her contribution and it's wonderful that she is also being recognised by the state body as well.
"The Most Improved award comes down to lots and lots of hard work. We've had a real focus on building the grass roots of the club.
"It's been a real team effort between the club and its committee, the members and the community, in particular the great sponsors who support us.
"That brings numbers and also means we can host those bigger events and that in turn brings more patrons.”
Warr said this was the third year the club had hosted the enduro-X.
"It started out as a bit of a pipe dream but it has continued to get bigger and better.
"This year we had a good array of international level riders attend and the feedback was fantastic.
"Just to be nominated among the state's best is very special and we're delighted.”
Rockhampton's nomination for Club of the Year was centred on its amazing recovery from the ravages of flood earlier this year.
The Darks were instrumental in getting the club back up and racing.
"We found a will and a way and I believe that determination and spirit has flowed on to our events now - we all just get in and get the job done,” Peter said.
Collectively, the Darks have clocked up about 25 years with the club.
Peter said it was wonderful to be acknowledged for their hard work.
"It's a big surprise.
"We love what we do but it's nice to get some recognition. It puts a smile on your face and a spring in your step.
"We've been to the awards before but usually it's because our son Mitchell is in the running for an award.
"It almost feels a bit strange to be going down there for us.
"We're certainly looking forward to heading down and hopefully bringing home some awards which will take pride of place in our canteen.”