World’s best right here yet unknown at home

6 Mar
World champion Logan Martin with the younger riders working on tricks. Picture: Amy McGinty, Lucinda Pearson

World champion Logan Martin with the younger riders working on tricks.
Picture: Amy McGinty, Lucinda Pearson

By Amy McGinty and Lucinda Pearson, Bond University Journalism Students

A world-class extreme sports facility that boasts internationally renowned local champions is going largely unnoticed within Australia.

GC Compound is so popular among international competitors that it drew the attention of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, who took their kids there to ride their skateboards earlier this year while Jolie was on the coast to direct a feature film.

Founder and director Tom Herzog said that despite huge success in the international riding community, GC Compound has little recognition in Australia.

“I’ve got riders here that are so famous in Europe and the United States, but in Australia they hardly have any recognition,” he said.

He said the main reason why GC Compound has international following is due to the relaxed and encouraging atmosphere that is seldom found in other riding communities where disciplines are not combined.

Usually there is a large division amongst riders and their chosen discipline, for example, BMX riders do not like to ride along side scooters and vice versa, said Mr Herzog.

“That culture is really hard to change, whereas here it’s just all about having fun,” he said.

“International riders that have ridden in best indoor skate parks around the world just love the atmosphere and the fact that everybody mixes.”

GC Compound regular Brock Horneman, 19, has already travelled the globe for BMX.

“I travel to Europe each year, I’ve just come back from the UK and last year I travelled to South America to Ecuador, it was crazy, so different,” he said.

At the core of GC Compound is safety and education.

“Kids find this a safe place, it’s not about telling people off for doing the wrong thing, its about education on how to ride correctly,” Mr Herzog said.

“We eliminate swearing, bullying, harassment that’s associated with outside skating.”

Brock Horneman agreed.

“I think what really makes the difference is the people that ride here. Were all really close and we all push each other in a good way,” said Brock.

Mr Herzog, an ex-teacher, plans to extend his passion for education with strategies for community programs such as inter school competitions, legal street art, live music and mentorship amongst riders.

“We’re a community facility, whatever the needs of the local community are, we hope to meet them,” he said.

GC Compound has premier partnerships with Monster Energy, Apex Pro Scooters and is planning on hosting some Australian-first events this year including the Monster Tag team event, Queensland BMX Freestyle competition and the Queensland titles.

For more information about GC Compound visit www.gccompound.com 

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