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RTRA TBNTT

Xander Kabat Signs On

02-Jun-2017

It is with great pleasure I announce that I was elected as President of the Recreational Trail Riders Association (RTRA), after the long-standing President Steve Pretzel decided to step down after 12 years. I would like to thank Steve for the decade of hard and amazing work that he has done for the RTRA and keeping our trails open. Under Steve the RTRA has been successful in gaining recognition of the legitimacy of recreational trail bike riding and its value as a healthy outdoors activity as well as successfully challenging the closure of several existing off-road vehicle areas.
   
Steve is stepping aside with a major win: earlier this month the Manjimup Shire voted in favour of the Manjimup Trail Bike Trail Hub project. It took many years of persistent work to get the project to this stage. This first hurdle was the big one, but there is still a substantial amount of work to be done. I know with the support of the RTRA community and the RTRA committee we will be able to create the first Australian Trail bike Hub.
  
As the “new guy” I have very big shoes to fill, and I hope that I can do as good a job as Steve. Fortunately, I am not alone. Along with the change in Presidency the governance structure has also grown; with committee members stepping up to take on portfolio changes and some amazing challenges.
  
The Presidency is not my only role. As part of the portfolio changes I am also the Environment Officer, responsible for advocacy, education and research regarding environmental issues that will keep our trails open and beautiful for next generation of riders to enjoy. I will also be tackling the role of Rider Education Officer responsible for writing and Initiating education programs including key programs such as Ride Leader qualifications, Minimal Impact riding techniques, First Aid, and All the Gear programs. Our educational goals are to make our passion safer, more enjoyable and sustainable.
   
I could not do this alone, and to my great relief and pleasure Steve Pretzel will not be leaving the committee. Steve will be taking on the role of Treasurer and Governance officer, replacing Henry Van Es who has retired from the role having done an amazing job over the past five years. So it is with mixed feeling that I say thank you Henry and welcome Steve. I would also like to thank Steve for his kind words in his signing off letter.

As a committee member for the last 2 years, and having worked in the government, I thought I knew how big the task of Government liaison was. This was until I saw our RTRA Secretary and Government liaison officer Valerie Pretzel in action. Simply put this is a monumental task and Valerie is simply amazing at it. Valerie will continue in this role, as well as try to get me up to speed (also a monumental task both in the office and on the trail). As head of the Strategy and Advocacy portfolio, Valerie will also be engaged in the RTRA strategy planning and issues management. This is not all! Valerie will also continue as RTRA Committee Marketing & Communications officer, so every time you read something on the website, or receive our newsletters, social media updates, promotional materials or see something in the media releases Valerie is the one making it happen. 

We have two Trails and Areas portfolio coordinators managing the Pinjar and Metro Road Off-road riding areas. Keith Farnham has been taking care of Pinjar for a couple of years now, coordinating the bi-monthly maintenance days. Brett Grandin has been taking on the task of making Metro Road an official Off Road Vehicle Area, and will continue to work hard to realise its significant potential as a riding area. Both of these are opportunities for Members of the RTRA to get involved as part of the to-be-formed Area Friends groups, to join us during our ongoing clean-up days, and to participate in the Ride Leaders and Trail Ambassador programmes.

Our newly appointed Membership coordinator, Angel Uruchima, will be working towards growing the membership base and member benefits. This is such an important role as it is our membership numbers that give us power to make changes. 

Alongside this Peter Otley will continue as the Industry Liaison Portfolio Coordinator, to ensure that we continue to grow our relationships and maximize the benefits to the members from the industry. 

Don Martin has taken on the role of Revenue Portfolio Coordinator, a hard and underappreciated role, he will work towards increasing sponsorships and obtaining project grants. None of the work the RTRA does comes without substantial costs and memberships fees only covers a small fraction of these costs.

One of the newly created roles has also been taken on by Brett Grandin, as the RTRA Events Portfolio Coordinator. Along with managing Metro Road ORVA, Brett will chair the Event sub-committee to plan, organise and run events. Under Brett’s management along with lots of help from the committee and the RTRA members we hope to bring swap meets, ride days, educational and training days as well as other fun events to the members of the RTRA. 

I think this is a very exciting time to be a part of the RTRA, and my main goal as President is to continue to grow what the RTRA has already been able to accomplish. With help of the new portfolio coordinators the RTRA will also try and grow the community of recreational trail riders, start holding events and ride days, as well as provide training to the community. The RTRA is a team, and I would like to thank all the committee members who have taken on the challenges ahead of them. Without their dedication and talents none of this would be possible.

Regards

Xander Kabat
President

P.S. On a final note, we have a vacancy on the Committee. We are looking for a passionate, extremely well organised and good with people Volunteer Portfolio Coordinator. If you think you have what it takes to handle this challenge or want more information please drop me a line. 


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