You are hereMay 2004

May 2004

By admin - Posted on 03 September 2005


Australian Muni Weekend – by Andrew Carter

The first annual Australian Mountain Unicycling Weekend took place from the 16th to the 18th of April in Brisbane with almost 15 riders participating. In a very relaxed atmosphere, the weekend started with trials and muni off a local bike path and and BMX track followed by the first serious muni on a nearby trail. Saturday’s activities included light muni on Mt Coot-tha, a skate park ride (where we did some group stair riding and dropping), and a fantastic late night muni ride on Mt Coot-tha. Sunday featured short morning rides and a long ride through Mt Coot-tha, finishing with trials and a picnic (supplied by at J.C Slaughter Falls.

Everyone involved seemed to really push their limits and enjoy themselves. You can see pictures of the weekend and a 5 minute video.

Some highlights of the weekend:

  • Mark Lavis’ 12” unicycle unispin
  • Lauren Johnson and James Boothroyd learning to ride stairs.
  • Kevin Wharton’s lack of fear and abundance of skill at the age of only 11
  • Adrian’s handlebar unicycle.
  • Rockley dropping the skate park quarter pipe.
  • Everyone improving and having a great time.

Any questions, of if anyone would like to host the next Australian Muni Weekend please contact andrew_carter [at] mail [dot] com (Andrew). Either way, the muni weekend will be an annual event and you can expect next year’s to be bigger and better.

AUS logo discussion

Over recent months, questions have been raised about the legal and ethical implications of the AUS using a logo that is of an Aboriginal art style that was not created by an Aboriginal artist. While the executive committee was seeking advice from legal and art administration professionals, the permission to use the previous logo was unfortunately withdrawn from the AUS.

Consequently, the AUS now needs to decide on a new logo. AUS president, Wayne Van Wijk, has designed the following image. If this image is accepted by the membership, the AUS will register copyright and have full legal ownership of the image.

The executive committee welcomes all comments from members about the new image. We are hoping to adopt a new logo by 1 June ’04, so that it can be incorporated into the team uniforms for Unicon in late July.

Please send all comments and suggestions to Karen Martin-Stone.

Unicon preparations

Eighteen people from Australia have registered to attend Unicon XII in Tokyo in July/August. This is the largest team of Australians yet to compete at a Unicon. Discussions about the team uniform have been taking place for a while now, and when a final decision has been reached on the new logo, shirts will be printed for the team.

UniNats ’05 preparations

The newly elected interim committee for the Unicycling Association of the NT will now begin working towards confirming venues and securing sponsors for UniNats ’05. Planning for the event so far has covered:

  • a proposed timetable
  • a marketing plan
  • a funding / resourcing plan, and
  • a staffing plan.

These plans will now be put into action over the coming months. It is hoped that by the end of July a solid outline of the event can be promoted at Unicon, to entice international participants.

Australian Sports Commission recognition

The AUS is now eligible to apply for recognition by the Australian Sports Commission as a national sporting body. Gaining this recognition will enable us to apply for federal funding for events and club development. This is a very important step for the association, and will enable us to put on bigger and better events and develop our sport in other ways. If we can get through the application process quickly, we may be able to access funding for UniNats ’05, which will make it even cheaper for participants to attend.

The executive committee would love to hear from anyone interested in helping us to achieve this recognition. The Australian Sports Commission will shortly be forwarding information to our secretary on how to begin the process. In organisations such as ours it is easy for the workload to fall to a few people, so we’d like to encourage as many people as possible to get involved. If you can spare any time to help out, it would be greatly appreciated. Please contact Karen Martin-Stone.

ACT happenings – by Rod Lambert

News From ACTURS (in your Nations capital)

The main organised activity in the ACT has been a weekly training group meeting held from 7.00 -8.30 pm at the Canberra High School on Wednesday nights. Generally the program is fairly informal and riders of all stages can "hang out" and show each other various skills & tricks. The venue is ideal for "ab initio" riders and we have had several people who have advanced fairly quickly from non-rider to Level 1 in the basic 10 week term. Each night we also try and organise at least 30 minutes of group activities.

One of the favourite group activities is a "mini concert" where the group assembles and each individual provides a 1/2 to 1 minute freestyle display demonstrating their highest level (or newest) skill. It is amazing how much applause a new rider can generate simply by mounting their uni and wobbling across the stage, while an advanced rider struggles to attract a small clap with elaborate pirouettes and elegant recoveries.

At present it is difficult to do the outside stuff like basketball and hockey because it gets dark too early. We will look forward to more practice when daylight saving time comes back. A lot of our riders can now ride and bounce the basketball but very few can consistently shoot the baskets. We have tried to set all this up indoors but the space is cramped and the noise can be deafening.

We are also trying to assist the ACT UNICON 2004 riders prepare & develop their skills and routines as much as possible. This group will consist of some very juniors Sebastian Hogan and Kon Kudo. Both did well in Junior male events at UNINATS 2003. Kon speaks fluent Japanese and has just received a new unicycle. Kara Hogan and Veronica Buchanan also were successful competitors at UNINATS. For Veronica, this will be her second world UNICON however I am sure there will be a lot of things happening in Tokyo in 2004 that did not happen in Seattle in 2002. The big boys will include Dale Newbery, Andrew Hogan and David Buchanan. All are seasoned performers and notably, David passed his Level 3 test on 28th April. Tom & Rod Lambert have tentatively registered but still need to confirm their availability for UNICON. Toni Hogan who (at present) is a non-rider will also be attending UNICON in support of the Australian effort. ACTURS extends its best wishes and support to all other unicyclists who will collectively make up the "Australian UNICON 2004 Team" and we look forward to future reports after this event.

I guess there will be other information in this newsletter regarding AUS developments. To date a lot of AUS development effort has come from the ACT membership and we are all aware of the workloads involved. We welcome the opportunity to work in collaboration with the wider AUS unicycling community around Australia and have the greatest confidence in the current AUS management committee. I think the results of this new energy and ideas for the future are already apparent and we can anticipate some interesting events and developments to come.

Rod Lambert, for ACTURS

NT happenings

The current focus of energies within the NT unicycling community has been directed towards the politics and administration side of committee life. A general meeting was held on 12 May, which generated a lot of interest. This meeting had many positive outcomes, including the election of a new and enthusiastic committee, defined responsibilities of the committee, and the input of many new riders and their families. A decision was made to change our weekly events to a rotating 4-weekly program of hockey, beginners ride, muni and freestyle practice.

We are also working towards a new constitution to go with our incorporation application – as we had already submitted our application before the introduction of the new NT Associations Act, we have 3 months to finalise our constitution. We are hoping to get it done well inside this timeframe so that we can affiliate with the AUS and conduct more activities under the insurance umbrella.

On a more fun note, since the last AUS newsletter we have discovered another troupe of unicyclists in the Territory. A group of 12 young unicyclists have been taught by Matt Woodrow, at Ti Tree primary school. Matt also teaches a few students in Alice Springs (200km south of Ti Tree). Most of the unicyclists at Ti Tree are indigenous, and many have not seen the sea. We are all hoping that the Ti Tree team will make it to UniNats in Darwin next year.

There are many upcoming events planned for unicyclists in the NT. UniANT riders are performing at the Palmerston Festival on 12 June. They will be demonstrating hockey, freestyle and novelty games such as tip (tag? What do you guys call chasies these days?). There are also hopes to stage a hockey game in Katherine in the school holidays. Three of our riders will be attending Unicon at the end of July.

An individual highlight has been the awarding of a Churchills Fellowship to Debbie Hyder to develop her unicycling skills overseas. Debbie leaves early next week for a trip that will feature unicycling events in the US, the UK, Germany, and Hong Kong before finishing up at Unicon in Tokyo. We wish her the best of luck! Do you think she’ll miss us?

Victorian happenings – by Julian Laffey

Unicycling in Victoria continues to develop. A group of riders meet the first Saturday of every month at Castlemaine, usually 8 - 10 riders. In March, Paddy O’Sullivan rode 42km from Mt Franklin to Castlemaine to raise money for Walk Against Want. This was a gargantuan effort by Paddy!

A few people in Victoria have expressed an interest in forming a new club or reviving VICTURS. The AUS is willing to support any of these endeavours as much as we can. If any other Victorian riders are willing to pursue this, please contact the AUS secretary and she will put you in touch with the relevant people.


Thanks to everyone that contributed to this newsletter. If you have any more news that you would like included in the next one, please contact Karen and she will be more than happy to put it in. We’d love to hear from unicyclists in other states!


Karen Martin-Stone
Secretary, Australian Unicycle Society (AUS)
President, Unicycling Association of the NT (UniANT)