Tayla Relph was not only the first Australian female to win the road racing discipline last year both at eastern creek (Sydney) and again at Barbagallo raceway but has raced in Spain, Malaysia and New Zealand. She began racing through the Motorcycle Sportsmen of QLD at the age of 11 whe her dad, with a few of the club members encouraged her to give road racing a go. They put a set of slicks onto her KTM 65cc out at Willowbank Raceway and she has loved it ever since.
Tayla got her first motorbike when she was just 3 years old.
‘It was great fun, and from watching all the videos from when I was 3, you can see the love I had for the sport through my facial expressions under the helmet. I just loved it from the very beginning! I love everything that comes with racing. For me, it's not just about doing well on the track, winning races and beating personal bests, it's also the support and the camaraderie with everyone. I love how even though we are so competitive when on the track, but as soon as the helmets come off we are all best of friends and I think that is something that is really special about our sport.’
Tayla looks up to Maria Herrera as she is the only female racing in the moto3 world championship and she truly shows that females can achieve the exact same things as men can in a male dominated sport. She is passionate about coaching other women in the sport and encouraging for those interested in joining.
‘Give it a crack! The Motorcycle Sportsmen of QLD held one of the biggest all female track days last year, and I was lucky enough to be a coach throughout the day. I worked alongside females who were extremely nervous for their first outing on track and weren't sure what to expect, but after their first session they could not wipe the smiles of their face. I think if you are wanting to get out on track but just not too sure of the steps to take, have a look at the Motorcycle Sportsmens Facebook page as they will be running another all-female track Day throughout the year!’
Outside of racing Tayla works as a Childcare Teacher in the 15 month to 2-year-old room, and has recently started university, studying her bachelor of Journalism.
When asked about challenges as a girl in a male-dominated sport, Tayla has a confident outlook as a competitor.
‘Personally I don't think I do face many challenges, at the beginning I thought I did, but I think it was more just a mental thought. I knew I was racing males and I think a part of me thought that I was disadvantaged by being the only female. After racing with males for 7 years, I really don't see there being any challenges that I face, I can achieve the exact same things as what my male competitors can and there is nothing that is stopping me from doing so. If you have dedication and you are in the right head space, you have nothing stopping you from winning races!’
Tayla is enjoying her career as a childcare teacher but after finishing university her dream job is to work at fox sports, broadcasting all the Australian Motorcycle Racing.