Specialized Trail of the Year Award pays it forward

10 September 2018

The Enduro World Series (EWS) was delighted to see Tasmania win the Specialized Trail of the Year Award last year – but the story doesn’t end there.

Detonate was awarded the honour after riders voted for stage two of the Shimano Enduro Tasmania as their favourite trail of 2017, and now the people behind it, World Trail, have announced they will be awarding the prize money to charity.

World Trail, who designed and built the trail will be awarding the prize of AU$2000 to Break the Boundary Inc., an Australian charity that helps people with disabilities live healthier and happier lives by using adaptive mountain biking as a way to break the physical, mental and social boundaries to the great outdoors. It acts as a central hub for people seeking information about adaptive mountain biking around and runs a range of clinics, camps and programs around the country. 

Ryan De La Rue, from World Trail, said: “The whole World Trail team was very humbled to receive this award from the EWS organisers, riders and media, so we couldn’t be happier to share the prize money with a deserving charity.  

“We had so many amazing MTB clubs and Trail Advocacy groups get in touch with us but one in particular stood out.  Andrew and the Break the Boundary Charity are doing amazing things in Adaptive Mountain Biking and allowing people of all abilities to get out and enjoy trails as much as we all do.”

Break the Boundary was established in 2012 by Perth-raised Andrew Liddawi. After a catastrophic mountain bike accident, Andrew was completely and permanently paralysed from the waist down on impact, shattering two vertebrate and severing the spinal cord. 

After a year of intensive physical and mental rehabilitation, Andrew began to re-engage with the community through wheelchair basketball. While serving in both the state and national wheelchair basketball teams, Andrew discovered a way to return to the trails. Weeks of research resulted in the birth of adaptive mountain biking in Australia. 

Going from strength to strength and conquering multiple state mountain bike races, including the gruelling four-day Cape to Cape MTB race, Break the Boundary Inc. was formally Incorporated and registered as a charity in early 2018.

Now, the small and passionate team at Break the Boundary boasts a profile of several three day camps for beginners and intermediate adaptive riders, social rides, community workshops, demo-days, inclusion of adaptive categories in state and national rounds, and the publishing of internationally recognised Australian Adaptive MTB Guidelines.

Andrew said: “The decision of World Trails to pay forward the generous prize money from the Specialized EWS Trail of the Year Award is the start of something massive for Australia. The donation will go directly to the establishment of the first Australian hub for adaptive mountain biking, located in the Perth Hills. It won’t only help people with disabilities and severe injuries access mountain biking but will give your every-day MTB rider the opportunity to experience mountain biking on some seriously cool adaptive bikes!”

“With all the amazing work happening within the MTB community and the continuing support of people and organisations, we are sincerely humbled by World Trails’ decision. We can’t wait to see our project come alive and to share it with everyone!” 

The Specialized Trail of the Year Award is voted for by EWS riders, team managers and media to recognise the hard work and dedication of the people behind the scenes who create the trails we love to ride and race.

Chris Ball, Managing Director of the EWS, said: “Detonate was a worthy winner of Trail of the Year for sure, but we couldn’t be more excited to see how World Trail have decided to spend their prize money.

“Break the Boundary is an innovative charity that is challenging people’s perspectives about mountain biking and bringing it to a much wider audience, and we are in awe of the work they are doing.”

More information about Break the Boundary can be found here.