KENYA: MINA REEVE
I got the experience of riding pillion on a superbike earlier in 2017, and since then I fell in love. I remember saving up for over a year, and eventually managed to buy my riding gear from the UK, which then resulted in me buying my first superbike – the Yamaha YZF R25. I started learning how to ride in November 2018, and then joined the 2019 race season which started in April. The idea of buying a motorcycle was not for daily commute (although it does help), I was looking more forward to nice weekend rides and possibly getting into competitive racing.
As a woman and a youth who has a large passion for sports, I knew I could rise up to the challenge and demands of the sport. I have always loved competition and thrive in uncomfortable situations.
The first competition I registered for was under The Superbike Association (TSA) in April 2019. I realised I was one of the very few women competing in a sport largely dominated by men. This did not stop me, and I pushed harder to be crowned as the best lady superbiker on track in Kenya for the 2019 race season by the Motor Sports Foundation Kenya (MSFK), having finished 3rd overall in the 400cc category. I was also the best lady biker in the East Africa Super Bike Championship (EASBC), having finished 4th overall and beating a lot of my male competitors in the 400cc category.
My family was shocked when I bought the motorcycle, and encouraged me to sell it straight away. It took a lot of convincing for them to buy into the idea. Motorcycling meant nothing else but danger in their eyes. Eventually, they started coming to my races and now they are my biggest supporters and couldn’t be more proud of my achievements. My friends were not surprised that I got a motorcycle because they always known I love speed, the rush of adrenaline and competitive sports. They also support me loads, and I cannot thank them enough for always believing in me.
Since then, I have been seeking sponsorship for my racing, and hoping to possibly take this passion and sport to the next level. While there are limited competitions within Kenya, there are loads of competitions across Africa and internationally. With the rise of superbike competitions
with the World Superbike Competition, British Superbike Series and the MotoGP, there are a lot of opportunities available. With time, I aspire that a fully developed racing track is built in Kenya that could have the potential of hosting foreign nationals and possible competitions. This would
boost sports tourism in the country and enable a growing culture of motorcycle racing in Kenya (similar to how Rugby and Athletics have helped grow the country using their sports to dominate certain niches in the world).
Biking has really opened up a lot of opportunities for me, as I was now able to connect with a group of people who do incredible things. I am grateful for the newly formed networks I find myself in, as it has helped me grow as a racer, as an entrepreneur, a teacher and a person. I must,however, commend the strong women motorcycling community in Kenya for always making me feel welcome and having good times with them.
Further to this, I also decided to use my newly found passion to create awareness about Parkinson’s Disease.Initially I was just talking about it, but have now established a “Move4Parkinsons” campaign which was running successfully. I have great plans for this initiative, and hoping to find generous sponsors who will support the Parkinson’s Support Group. Additionally, 10% of any sponsorship money that comes to Gogo Racing Team (My Racing Team) goes towards this charitable initiative.