Last night I attended my first Ontario Downhill Riders Association (ODRA) meeting. The association was founded and is chaired by Jeff Faulds. I’m not surprised to see Jeff head something like this and am absolutely certain he will find the support he needs. The association is all about the riders and the board consists of some of Ontario’s greatest DH ambassadors such as Bill Graham, Chris Cousineau, Shane Joachim, Brandon Cassell, Claude Larue, Mark Kendal, Joe Jenkins, Adrian Pennachetti, Terry Leimonis and series organizer Jon Anderson.
Jon ran a tight meeting. It was well organized and everyone had a voice. It was pretty clear that the right people were involved simply based on how smoothly it went. All concepts and concerns were tabled and everyone, including me, felt their suggestions were heard. Those in attendance felt as though they had something to offer and what each person brought to the table was well received by the group.
Jon has some great ideas and everyone is behind him. He is a leader and his concepts for growing the sport and making it more of a family friendly atmosphere are things that will ensure the future success of downhill in Ontario. He is very willing to accept feedback and ideas from the ODRA and, like the association he is part of, only wants what is best for the sport. The fit is a perfect one in my opinion.
I left the meeting in a pretty nasty, wet snow storm but the feeling of enthusiasm I felt from our little gathering kept my smiling the whole way home. I am very excited for the upcoming season. I look forward to reporting the races from new venues, to capture some new faces and to be part of something groundbreaking for downhillers in the province.