BMX Freestyle World Cup event bound for Gold Coast, women to be paid as much as men

BMX Freestyle World Cup event bound for Gold Coast, women to be paid as much as men

A major world cup event is coming to Australia for the first time and it is set to make history in more ways than one.

In December a BMX Freestyle World Cup stage will be held on the Gold Coast and will likely become a qualifying event for the Paris Olympics in 2024.

The Urban Sport Fest will bring 150 of the world’s best freestyle BMX riders to the coast, running alongside a music festival to be held at Carrara Stadium.

Queensland-born Natalya Diehm said it would be the first time women would be offered the same prize money as men in the sport.

She said previously prize money for competitions in overseas countries would not even cover the cost of flights, so world-class winners were left out of pocket.

Natalya Diehm says equal pay has been a long time coming in her sport.(ABC Gold Coast: Tara Cassidy)

“It’s amazing,” Diehm said.

“We’ve been working, us girls, really hard to get equal pay.

“There’s a lot of travel, a lot of costs involved — so yeah, usually the travel costs are more than the prize money for events.

A group of BMX riders at a skate park.
Natalya Diehm and Logan Martin with other freestyle BMX riders at a jump on the Gold Coast.(ABC Gold Coast: Tara Cassidy)

A win for Queensland

The Gladstone-born Diehm said her road to the world stage began while she was in school.

“I would ride my bike to school with some friends and take a two-minute detour to where the skate park was, and all the boys were skating and I was like, ‘I’m going to try it,'” she said.

“From that afternoon I was there every day after school, every weekend, so I just stuck with it.

A BMX rider doing a jump from a ramp.
A freestyle BMX rider at Gold Coast’s Carrara Stadium.(ABC Gold Coast: Tara Cassidy)

“I’m based down on the Gold Coast now, because that’s where all the training facilities are.

“I only started competing in 2019 and from then everything’s been all overseas, so none of my family have been able to watch me compete.

“So this is going to be really special.

A BMX rider does a flip through the air.
The sport’s top competitors say they can’t wait to compete on home soil.(ABC Gold Coast: Tara Cassidy)

World number one BMX freestyle rider and Gold Coast local Logan Martin said there had never been anything like the event in Australia.

“‘I’ve been competing at these events for about the last nine years,” he said.

“Lots in Europe, all around France, China, but first time in Australia.

“I’m extremely excited the event is being held here, 15 minutes from my home.

The event will run from December 9 to 11.

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