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Riders Series: Meet Shania Rawson

Our RIDER SERIES takes us to New Zealand as we catch up with the winning riders from all the qualifiers around the world and we connect with Shania Rawson.

Shania Rawson hails from Tauranga and has bike coursing through her veins with not only Kurt Pickard as a brother, but both parents having raced Downhill and BMX. 

She shares recovering from a broken back, riding in pretty much every discipline and making it through to the  World Final for the second year running.  

What is your name, how old are you and where are you from?

My name is Shania Rawson I’m 20 years old from Tauranga, New Zealand.

Tell us about where you live. What is your favourite thing about living there?

My favourite thing about living in Tauranga is the incredible beach and it’s only across the road.

What is your favourite thing to do where you live? Do you have any hobbies? What do you do in your spare time?

There aren’t many places to ride mountain bikes in Tauranga so I spend most of my bike time at the local BMX track but lucky enough Rotorua is only a 45 minute drive away. Other than riding bikes my happy place is being outside either at the beach or hiking. 

I don’t get a lot of spare time as I work 5-6 days a week as well as fitting in training. But I love spending quality time with family and friends doing some sort of activity. 

Tell us about where you’ve travelled to and what is your favourite place to visit?

For the last four years I’ve traveled overseas racing Downhill World Cups and Crankworx as well as the Red Bull Pump Track World Champs last year. My favourite place I’ve travelled to would have to be Morzine, France, the riding and the scenery is incredible. 

What should we know about you?

Since I could remember my dream was to ride bikes for a living. I work full time to be able to achieve my goals. 

Tell us about your riding and your bike…

I have a variety of bikes … Downhill, Trail bike, Jump bike, BMX and a Freestyle BMX. 

Do you remember the first time you got on a bike?

It all started the local BMX track, my parents used to race BMX and Downhill, so I guess it’s in the blood. I found my passion for going fast at a young age. I took up racing BMX at the age of four, taking victory at my first national champs. From there I raced for 12 years. In 2014 I discovered my love for Mountain biking and brought my first downhill bike…haven’t stopped since. 

 What has been the biggest challenge on your journey?

Lucky enough I haven’t had any major struggles yet. But each year I do struggle to get enough money to compete and follow my dreams

Tell us about your worst crash. And your best victory moment.

I’ve had a lot of knocks to my head throughout my riding days and I still haven’t properly recovered from those and never will.  But one of my worst crashes would have to be at the local BMX track in 2014 compressing my vertebrae and breaking my back. It was a long recovery but I was itching to get straight back on the bike. 

What routine do you have when it comes to training? Do you have any tips?

I train 6 times a week. I don’t have a fixed routine as my hours change each. I try to squeeze a gym session, sprints, run or BMX track before and after work when I travel to Rotorua to ride during the weekend. 

Do you have any role models that inspire you to carry on?

My biggest role model would have to be my brother Kurt Pickard. He’s been racing BMX since he was little. He travelled all over the world racing and also competed in the 2012 Olympics. He now trains a lot of the worlds top BMX athletes. Growing up around him and seeing him go through all the good and bad times has makes me think I can get through anything.

What made you decide to compete in the Red Bull Pump Track World Championship?

When I was in Switzerland I saw one of the Velosolutions Pump tracks for the first time and I was amazed. I’ve always only ever ridden dirt pump tracks before riding at the qualifier in Wellington last year. When it got released that there was going to be Pump Track World Championships I knew I had to get involved. 

How do you feel about the Final and representing your country?

I’m super excited to be competing for the second year in a row, it’s always an honour to represent New Zealand. Last year didn’t go to plan for me as I got sick while I was over there so didn’t get the result I wanted. But it was an amazing experience. Definitely one of my favourite events to date.

What would you do to celebrate if you win?

I’m not too sure yet. I would come home and celebrate with my friends and family in some way.