News 21 Feb 2017

Discussions open to reinstate Coolum MX Nationals round

Club members vote unanimously to continue hosting series finals.

Image: MXN.

MX Nationals promoter Williams Event Management (WEM) and Suncoast Junior Motorcycle Club (SJMC) are actively working toward a resolution in a bid to have the Australian Motocross Championship finals remain at Coolum Pines MX Track in 2017.

It was revealed last Tuesday that communications between WEM director Kevin Williams and then SJMC president Justin Grover – who has since resigned – had broken down, prompting Coolum’s removal from the provisional calendar.

Despite an existing three-year arrangement that extends through 2018, in seeking an alternate deal with WEM to take the MX Nationals to the popular Sunshine Coast venue Grover had indicated to Williams that no members within the club had expressed any interest in hosting a national round.

However, following’s article on the MX Nationals’ exit and the wide-spread disappointment as a result, an emergency meeting was held at Coolum on Friday night, where members unanimously voted in favour of the nationals continuing at their club circuit. It’s the underlying factor that could spark a return of the series finals to Coolum.

A major events committee was formed during the meeting to resolve the high-profile split of WEM and SJMC, however the turmoil led a vocal Grover to resign from his role as president on Saturday. He had been in the position since October last year, around two months following the 2016 finals.

Nominations have been opened for 21 days within the club to elect a new president, vice president and treasurer during a special meeting scheduled at the Coolum Beach Hotel – that date to be advised, following 28 days’ notice.

In the meantime, the SJMC is being operated by senior officials, life members and volunteering club members. It’s a case of ‘business as usual’ ahead of this weekend’s Sunshine State opener and upcoming club events, according to Weldong Jung, who is a foundation member currently assisting in ongoing operations and is also on the club’s newfound major events committee.

“We’re working toward a resolution and it is very near to being in place,” explained Jung, who said the club’s current lease with state development will expire in 2020. “There was a meeting last Friday night, with about 60 people from the club, and it was a unanimous vote to run the event with Kevin Williams, sticking with the agreement we had – there was a handshake on that last year.

“There were some new people on the committee who didn’t understand that or didn’t know about it and had made some wrong decisions. That has now been rectified. The MX Nationals brings a lot of money into the local economy, so it gives us very good standing in the community. As a club, I believe it’s good to run major events because it helps contribute to the profile of the sport.

“Generally, after the nationals or other large events that we have, we have an influx of enquiries about memberships, which is good for the entire sport. Running these events gives the club great exposure, boosts membership and improves people’s understanding of what we do within the community.

“There was only a couple of days’ notice prior to the meeting, but there was a good cross-section of members who came to vote, and they looked at it from all angles. The club didn’t make much money last year, but they usually do and we offered to help and hopefully make it more profitable again. We also looked well into the prestige of the event and the terms of our lease being renewed.”

The club will also have to take into consideration the final round of the 2017 Australian Supercross Championship, which has been listed at Coolum on 18 November. A final agreement will have to be struck between the new committee to be elected and the Queensland round promoters, SB Promotions, if the round is to go ahead, which was also confirmed by event organiser Scott Bannan.

“I don’t believe the club has a contract for that event,” Jung added. “I think it may have been something between the [ex] president and the promoter. We would certainly be interested to look at it, whatever the club decides to do when the committee is elected. If they ask us to help with that event as well, we would consider that on whatever merit’s presented to us.”

While the MX Nationals event isn’t yet signed off upon as WEM and SJMC work to potentially finalise the renewed agreement, Williams will travel up to the Sunshine Coast this week to hold discussions with council and the club. The series enjoys a partnership with the Sunshine Coast Council, also visiting the region for the Conondale round, slated for round three on 7 May this season.