On Friday, March 24th, the BC Games Society presented a ProMOTION Plus leadership award to a member of our community. The ProMOTION Plus Leadership Awards were established to recognize exceptional individuals or organizations making significant contributions to the women and girls of BC in sport, recreation, and healthy living.
We were very proud to present Deana Francks the ProMOTION Plus Leadership Award at the 2022 BC Winter Games as the BC Games Society is a leader in the sport system in providing access and opportunities for girls and women.
Deana Francks started mountain biking approximately 20 years ago, joining a group ride with a local bike shop. She instantly fell in love with the sport and the joy it brought to her life.
Working with the North Okanagan Cycling Society and local bike shops, Deana started a women specific weekly bike ride nearly a decade ago to provide a safe and comfortable environment for women to learn and practice riding skills and explore mountain biking regions around the North Okanagan. The group rides have grown so enormously that multiple volunteers are required to break the groups into different riding levels to accommodate demand.
Recognizing the need and desire for competitive mountain biking among women, Deana created, organizes and runs an annual all-women’s enduro mountain bike race in Vernon. Not only does the race sell out every year, with a waitlist, it also is stacked with diverse volunteers who come out to support the racers. Deana works tirelessly to ensure the competition runs smoothly and her enthusiasm is contagious.
Deana has made this sport accessible to many women, from beginners to competitive riders, affecting individual riders and also the community as a whole.
When asked why she created the event, she replied “[s]haring the passion for sport is so uplifting and providing the opportunity for women to challenge themselves, create opportunity for growth, meet new friends and spend the day riding bikes together is the best!”
Deana has made this sport accessible to many women, from beginners to competitive riders, affecting individual riders and also the community as a whole. She feels strongly that, particularly for girls and young women, being connected to sports and the outdoors is an important social feature in their lives that must continue to be actively supported by everyone in the community.