SWOST: Interview with a BMX coach Olafs Lakucs 15.06.2021

My name is Olafs Lakučs. I am a BMX coach of Valmiera BMX club “Talava”. I have been coaching BMX for around fifteen years. But I have been associated with BMX for 30 years, which actually is since the very beginning of BMX in Latvia. Therefore, I dare to claim knowing BMX sports.

The question was whether our sports – BMX, is masculine or not?

I say yes and no. Regarding the sports as such, I would say that both girls and boys can ride equally good. Yet, we must take into consideration boys’ physical abilities and girls’ physical abilities, because the feminine gender by nature is a little bit weaker, which we can observe by, for example, speed results. Yet, it has been proven that girls can drive equally as good as boys.

Of course, there is a dominance of men. BMX is not 50/50 males/females. Approximately 10 female out of 100 BMX riders is the general number of BMX athletes.

Currently, there is a strong tendency from both the International Cycling Federation and national Cycling Federation to put a significant impact on gender balance. And one of visible proofs of that is minus one male athlete in the Olympic Games starting from these Games, which is added to female representatives, thus making the balance of 50/50% representatives of both genders.

My personal opinion is that this is normal. Currently the whole communion and the roles in it changes.

I was asked a question – what is easier to work with? I should say definitely with the boys. Girls have their own “fleas”, which is why it is hard to understand them sometimes.

- Do you consider your organization a gender balance friendly?

Yes. Yes, I believe we definitely are. It is most visible within the last two years when women are equalized with men completely and definitively. And it is not only in our club or country, but in the whole world. First, women ride the same traces. Second, they are paid equal amount of money. Women are all subject to the same rules as men. Therefore, I say yes – I don’t see that any woman would be discriminated in our BMX sport.

Watch and listen to the interview in the original language HERE.

Find related articles on gender balance and equality as well as on sport without stereotypes in the SWOST project's official webpage HERE.