Great things happen when a team of dedicated people, a great idea and a few shovels come together and make something happen. I was thrilled to interview Luke Magdy at BlackfootRC who is doing just that and keeping RC racing thriving in Canada (eh).
The Interview: BlackfootRC
What is the name of your organization?
When did you guys start this?
Remote Control (RC) has been at the Wild Rose Motorcross Association grounds for several years. Multiple teams and individuals have worked to keep the park alive. In March of 2013 the park began to be managed under the banner of BlackfootRC.
Tell me the story – why did you start this?
Although many of the RC tracks pre-existed BlackfootRC Association, the current organization of BlackfootRC was started by Brent and a lawn mower. Some of the RC tracks were being maintained by RC enthusiasts, and others were in dis-repair. The 1/5th scale track was grown over and un-usable. Brent really wanted a place to run 1/5th scale RC cars and nothing existed in Calgary for this size. The 1/5th track was mowed, and made usable and Brent began to try and organize an online community to discuss RC topics relating to the RC park.
Within the first year the tracks were improved, garbage cleaned, stairs donated and setup as temporary driver stands. Weeping tile and track edging was donated, and a community started to form. The leadership team expanded to include Charles and Paul and they helped keep the momentum moving. We published our official branding, built the permanent 1/5th scale driver stand, hosted our first event (thanks Mark). The relationship between BlackfootRC and our neighbors WRMA, BMX club began to take shape.
This year the leadership team got an injection of new members including Paolo, Joe, and Luke. Luke assumed presidency of the organization, and has been a significant driving force in making possible several things like Track sponsorships from The C-Can Store, the significant bobcat time donated by Decked-Out Landscaping, as well the addition of water to the tracks. Terry, Chris, Action Hobby and several members of the crawler community also had a very strong presence and helped completely transform the crawler/scale area of the RC Park. As a result of their efforts Rudeboyz RC and other organizations are now hosting events and we see significant attendance every day at the crawler area.
The Blackfoot leadership team is now 5 members strong (Luke, Paul, Paolo, Joe, Brent) and we fully expect the momentum established will continue. Many people have all contributed to the park in different ways. Without those people helping out (in many cases without ever being thanked) this place wouldn’t be possible. The BlackfootRC leadership team is very thankful of all of the effort contributed by many different people to make the RC park what it is today, and we have big hopes for what it will be tomorrow.
What do you hope to accomplish by doing this?
BlackfootRC was created to improve the RC facilities within the WRMA motocross park, and to help promote the sport of RC within Calgary and Alberta. We intend to be a family oriented and casual place to have fun with as many forms of RC as possible.
Currently we support 1/10th, 1/8th bashing and informal racing. We are the only facility in Calgary that supports 1/5th scale bashing/informal racing. We also have one of the best crawler/scale parks in western Canada. Although we don’t support it yet, we are contemplating dabbling into some quad copter flying/racing and micro scale flying.
What are the benefits for people that are involved with this group?
The benefit of being involved in this organization is being able to help make Calgary a go-to destination for RC. Many of our leaders are very proud of the fact that RCsparks, RC Trail Blazer, TRCC, RCCWR and others are all based out of this city and use the BlackfootRC park in their videos. It’s exciting to see the events take place and have people drive from across the country to participate in this sport that we love. If it wasn’t for the people who help make BlackfootRC better every day, then there wouldn’t be the facilities available to practice our sport. It’s also a great place to meet new people from different backgrounds that have a common passion. I strongly recommend to anyone interest, get involved and help. It’s a good bunch of people.
How can others get involved?
Everything that everyone does at the park counts. As simple as picking up some garbage, to tightening a loose tarp… all the way up to donating materials, or dragging a rake to smooth out a corner. We are appreciative of the people that come to the park, pay the gate fee, and have fun. We have a special place in our heart for those who actually invest some time and effort into making the place better.
We are constantly looking out for people that go that little above and beyond, that help a little without expecting anything in return. We are looking for those people and invite them to be a formal member of the club where they will have a say in how things evolve, and where we go as a community.
If you want to be part of the RC sport, and you want to help make this place better than it is today then do it. If you feel that someone should be recognized for contributing, please send a message to the Facebook page, or an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
How can they contact you if they have questions?
Send a message to the Facebook page facebook.com/blackfootrc, or an email to email@example.com
What is the hardest thing you have had to deal with in regards to the group?
Our largest challenge is people and money. Lots of people have ideas, not many show up with a shovel. Some ideas require capital and currently we are being held back by lack of it. The leadership team is seeing more and more people every day coming forward and offering their help. We have plans in place and agreements with the WRMA regarding capital that will help us tackle some bigger and bolder ideas. These challenges are not unique to BlackfootRC, and most organizations start with just a few good people and an idea.
What is your favorite part about doing this group?
Other than seeing a ridiculous number of RC cars all running circles around a track? We love seeing new people coming to the sport with their families. Several times this season a parents with their children have showed up at the track and asked how to get their kids involved. This family oriented community is what we are striving for, and seeing it slowly start to take shape is very motivating.
If you had one piece of advice that you could give to anyone that wanted to get involved in RC – what would it be?
Be excited. Be involved. There is so much good that comes from this sport. There are life skills to learn. How to fix and maintain a machine. How to be a part of a community. If your excited and involved you would be amazed at the learning opportunities exist. How to manage a club, how to shape and move earth, how to manage finances, how to lead people. You could be the next president of the association, and all you have to do is be excited, and be involved.
Anything else that you want to share/tell us about?
The leadership team at BlackfootRC has big visions for the park. We need volunteers. Donate your time and effort, and we can make this place better than any of us ever imagined possible.