Being a mum and an enthusiastic BMX rider may not seem to be that compatible but for Kathie Reardon the opportunity to share the fun with her own children and other club members was too good to pass up giving creedence to the old saying, ‘the family that plays together, stays together’.
What were your aspirations when you were younger?
I wanted to become a vet at one stage but then realised I would end up with a house full of animals. I never really had any other plans than that, but thought I just wanted to have children, be happy and have a great marriage … and now I have just that.
What is your profession?
I did a hospitality course last year after not working for 12 years, and was lucky enough to get a job at Club Forster as a waitress from doing the course, so I do that. I also love being “mum”.
Tell us about your family.
Where to begin? We are the Brady Bunch. We have six children (three girls and three boys) aged from 14 down to 6 years and yes, they keep me on my toes constantly (some more than others). I wouldn’t change it though and love our life, especially now that we all race together.
How did you become involved with the Manning Valley BMX club at Urara Lane, Taree?
One of our members, Kym, came to my husband’s TAFE class to talk about himself and he said he was a member. He is 55 too, by the way. My husband decided to take the kids down to the track one Saturday morning and Kym was there. They were having races later on that day so Mark took the kids back again and they were hooked. I had not long started work, so I was busy and never got the chance to go to the track. When I finally did make it to the track, I started getting on the kid’s bikes and having a go.
What inspired you to get on a bike yourself?
We went to Terrigal for a regional ‘meet’. I saw five mums racing, they all had kids racing too and I thought, “if they can do it then why can’t I?”
Then we had our ‘Come and Try’ day and I wanted to race ‘the Diceman’. Afterwards I thought, “OK I need to try a bit harder”, so I started training with the kids more and more, and got hooked.
The children really inspire me too as they put so much into it. They really push themselves and I think that if they get so much enjoyment out of racing then I should do it with them – they love it. It’s great to be riding around the track and hear “GO MUM!” from my kids.
Most rewarding part of your work?
As the publicity officer for our club my most rewarding part is seeing more than 50 racers at our last race meet, and then so many new faces at training with the club growing so much in numbers. All I want to do is tell everyone about our track.
We live in Nabiac and have done for the last four years. We didn’t even know there was a track in the Manning Valley area, so the more people I can tell about the club, the greater chance of having new members.
Who inspires you?
My children do on a daily basis. My oldest son lost four inches off his waist and I figure if he can do it then so can I (ha ha) … wouldn’t that be nice!
What do you love about living in the Manning Valley?
I moved up here from Melbourne and love that I can be driving around Manning Valley or Great lakes and see someone to wave at or they wave at me, and I think that comes from community spirit and the fact that everyone is so welcoming.
Is there anyone you would like to thank?
My fabulous husband – he is great, he takes all of us to training relentlessly and built a really cool trailer that holds all our pushbikes. We have a sticker on the back ‘Reardon racing team’ and he supports all of us. Unfortunately though he can’t race because of his bad back, but he still cheers us on.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Hmmm! Still riding a BMX and having fun with the kids, racing at night with our new lights at the club, and we would love a toilet amenities block to be built by then too. Five years from now – to have the club grow to where we can have pieces in the papers about our sport would be something else I would love to see.
When you’re not being a mum or a BMX Bandit, what else interests you?
I really enjoy reading novels and just relaxing with my girlfriends, having coffee and chatting … which I don’t get enough time to do these days!
Thank you Kathie.