In our series Women in powersports, we shine a light on the different roles women occupy, how these roles evolve, and how these women contribute to that evolution. Today, we meet Megan Brodeur, from Coaticook in Canada, who races snowmobiles in the extreme sport of Snocross, round a rough off-road circuit. Despite her young age – she is 22 years old – Megan has been in the racing world for over a decade. She was the youngest women’s Snocross racer to win the North American championship, at 18, and she’s won three more championships in a row since then.
What’s it like to be a woman in the powersports industry?
We’re definitely in the minority. But that’s what makes me feel honoured and special. It’s gratifying to know that you’re part of a select group of people who are adrenaline junkies and express themselves through their fearlessness.
There’s great respect between the girls that do this. I even raced against and beat two of my childhood idols. Even if we’re rivals, we always behave positively towards each other, on and off the circuit. It’s important to stick together and be united, for the sake of women’s Snocross.
How have things changed for women since you entered this industry?
Since I began racing, I’ve seen the number of women who take an interest in it go up. At the same time, the big race and championship organizers are making more room for women. For example, before, women’s races took place over just one day. Now, it’s two full days, like the men. Which means that the women’s category has more credibility, and that gives us more exposure, with some races being televised now, which wasn’t the case in the past.
It could be even better. For example, there’s an opening ceremony for the men, where the racers are presented to the media and the public. The girls don’t have an opening ceremony and it’s a shame. It’s a really good way of bringing the racers to the attention of everyone watching, at home or on site.
What do you do to help women in your field?
I promote women’s Snocross a lot, by giving interviews to publicize the discipline, by talking to young girls about it often, whether they ride or not, and invite them to try it or encourage them to go further. It’s important for me to take time with them, for a photo, for example. I remember how I admired certain racers when I was small, and I want the girls who come and see me to also have a positive experience and a good impression of the sport.
Do you have any advice for girls who want to follow in your tracks?
You have to put the effort in. Be prepared to work at it. Both physically and mentally. It’s important to remember that it isn’t just for boys. There are many girls who want to experience the thrills, feel the adrenaline pump, and show they have guts, that they’re fearless. Don’t hesitate. Go for it! When you keep your eye on the prize and make sure you’re ready, anything is possible.
“When you keep your eye on the prize and make sure you’re ready, anything is possible.”