Trainer Profiles

“Good Technique Knows NO Gender”

Debbie Matthews – Founder- President WSMX-Women’s School of Motocross, POWR-Profession al Organization of Women’s Racing- Chief Instructor-Nevada, North, Northern Calif, Boot Camps

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Debbie Matthews Founder- President WSMX-Women’s School of Motocross, POWR-Professional Organization of Women’s Racing

Debbie Matthews began her career in the Motorcycle industry in 1974 working for performance shops such as DG Performance, T&M Engineering and later cut her teeth in the parts department at Dallas Baker Kawasaki, and Kawasaki Motors before becoming one of the industry’s first female parts managers in 1978 at Wheelsmith Motorcycles and later Orange County Suzuki.  By 1984, Debbie had also become one of the industry’s first female General Managers and Motorcycle Business owner of Racers Choice Motorcycle Accessories.  With experience came additional opportunities to work within the industry in many other capacities as a: Professional Women’s Motocross Athlete, Race Promoter, Ambassador, CEO, Event Manager, Board Member, Mentor, Motocross Trainer, Journalist, Sponsorship Development Specialist, Athlete Sponsor, Photographer, Journalist, Consultant, AMA Keynote Speaker, Team Manager DKS SX Team, Play Like a Girl Sports Radio Show Talk Host, Author, Lobbyist, Motivational Speaker and Innovator.

Debbie received her motocross training from some of the most Renowned Legends of the sport: Rolf Tibblin, Russ Darnell, Warren Reid, Mike Beier, Kent Howerton and Mark Blackwell.  Through their tutoring Debbie has become known as one of the most technical female riders in the world with her smooth, effortless style and tenacious attitude.

Factory Pro Riders Doug Dubach, Jeff Emig, Mike Keidrowski and Greg Albertyn each offered their services, no charge, to coach alongside Debbie during her WSMX Women’s Motocross School Boot Camps, giving other female riders the same opportunity she had received to learn from the best.  Debbie was one of the first Motocross trainers to train a young Ashley Fiolek in 2001, who went on to win multiple National Championships and X Games Gold medals. Debbie has trained and mentored thousands over her career, spanning three generations. Many of these riders have gone on to win titles in multiple disciplines. Additionally, many former students and fellow competitors have chosen to become trainers for Debbie’s school WSMX, during their respective careers.  In 2003, Debbie was the first female selected to be a Motocross Trainer for the FCA-Fellowship of Christian Athletes Motocross Camp, and trained riders alongside AMA Pros Ryan Sipes and Brian Mason. Debbie returned to coach the following year with the FCA. Ever since Debbie first joined the FCA in 2003, the FCA has continued to employ a female trainer.  In 2004, while working with a student, Debbie sacrificed herself to save a student from serious injury. The subsequent TBI and soft tissue injury to herself ended her professional riding career.   Debbie underwent multiple surgeries and received Brain Mapping therapy from Red Bull for 3 years to aid in her recovery. Undaunted, Debbie recovered and continues to train upcoming riders, employing additional professional riders to demonstrate proper technique.

Debbie has worked at industry events alongside Pro riders and Industry icons in media functions, charity events, public relations, promotions, and in assisting in the creation of opportunities within the sport.  Some of the charities include the FRF-Fallen Rider Foundation, The Braapp Foundation, for injured riders and the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation with Discover Today’s Motorcycling, as well as presenting at schools on Career Day and visiting hospitals. In 2019-through the present, Feld Entertainment enlisted the services of Debbie and her daughter, Heather Majcherek, to act as liaisons and consultants to the SXF-Supercross Futures program to help grow the women’s program.

A successful off-road Amateur and Professional competitor, Debbie was Nationally ranked as the Number 2 Amateur Racer in the country in 1976, turning Professional in 1977. Debbie was one of the first riders on the pilot test program for Team Green in 1978.  During her career, Debbie finished 5 times in the top 5 Pro’s Nationally during her career, as well as 4 times as a vet pro, 3 times at the Ladies World Cup, and was the Women’s National Vet Champion in 1988. She also held the record for the longest consecutive pro and amateur career span in Women’s Motocross competition (27 years). In addition, Debbie holds the record for top 15 Women Professional National rankings in motocross, finishing inside the top 15 national pro women in the country every year from 1977 to 1997. (20 years!!) Debbie had the privilege of competing in 5 Supercross Exhibitions during her career, spanning the 80’s and 90’s, as well as competing in the 1995 Women’s Stadiumcross series (combining Feld AMA Supercross with the MTEG Off-Road Ultracross) where she finished 8th overall, while handling the Race Manager duties as well.

In 1981, the AMA (American Motorcyclist Association) District 37 honored her for her dedication to motorcycling. In 1998 she received the AMA MVP award for her contributions to enhance female participation in the sport. In 2002, Debbie was nominated for the AMA Bessie Stringfield Award. In 2012, Debbie was honored by her Racing Peers during the So Cal Pro Reunion with a Lifetime Appreciation Award for her dedication and commitment to Motorcycling, specifically to the Women of the Sport, with over 30 years as their advocate! In 2021, Gene Woods inducted Debbie into the Hot Shoe Hall of Fame located on Fremont Street in Las Vegas, NV.

In 1994, while Debbie was still racing professional, The U.S. Women’s Motocross Team (later known as the U.S. Women’s Motocross League) contacted Debbie to assist in the development of the team as their Promotion/Race Director. Within a year, Debbie became co-director of the TEAM effort; and in 1996, Debbie Co-Founded the WML-Women’s Motocross League.  As a director, Debbie developed, organized, and promoted Free Women Only Motocross schools. She also promoted the Ladies World Cup Motocross Championships from 1995 -1999.  Tony Miller later picked up the event and promoted it as the AMA Women’s MX Cup at Freestone Raceway.  From 1996-1999, Debbie organized, promoted, and managed the WML/AMA National Championship Series run in conjunction with the AMA Men’s Outdoor National MX, all while still competing at these events.  Debbie also was the Team Manager and Riding Coach for Nature’s Recipe Pet Foods PeeWee Team from 94-98, which raced in Off-Road and SX events.

Debbie got her feet wet as a lobbyist in 1975, at the age of 17.  She was the President of Canyon High School’s Motocross Team located in Anaheim Hills, CA, and competed regularly in High School Motocross.  She petitioned the Orange County School Board to recognize High School Motocross as a CIF sport.  She showed up at the meeting wearing a long pink frilly dress trying to convey that despite the sport being one of the most physically demanding in the world, motocross was a sport everyone could do.  While the measure wasn’t adopted, it opened the eyes of many in the community.  In 1997, Debbie met with the AMA, and they agreed to include Women’s Motocross Champions into their Pro banquet Award ceremonies.  Shelly Kann was the first champion recognized at the banquet.

In 1994, Debbie as a board member of TEAM, met with Danny Thompson and Craig Hoezel of MTEG-the Mickey Thompson Entertainment Group and Todd Jendro of Feld SX Entertainment  for the creation of a combined series called Stadiumcross for the women to race on the main night as part of the regular program.  The events were a success, generating additional media and fan exposure and starting a wave of growing support for the women of the sport. The following year in 1995, Debbie, now a Director in the newly formed WML-Women’s Motocross league, met with the AMA, the OEM’s, and the NPG-National Promoters Group to gather support for the growing Women’s programs, improve marketing strategies, organize contingency programs and to pitch the creation of a professional Outdoor Motocross Series to be run in conjunction with the AMA Men’s Outdoor Nationals.  Four tracks signed on for the inaugural season: Hi Point, Unadilla, Washougal, and Steel City and became known as the AMA/WML Women’s National Championship Series, which was grown to a 8 race series and later managed by the WMA and MX Sports.   In 1997, Debbie was invited by the AMA to be a Keynote Speaker during the inaugural AMA National Women in Motorcycling Conference speaking on Women in Competition.  Following her speech, Debbie was invited by the President of the AMA, Mr. Ed Youngblood to meet with members of the AMA Congress to ratify changes in the constitution giving women “A” Rider classification for the first time in history.  After a brief presentation, the board voted unanimously to adopt the resolution.

In 1998 Debbie worked closely with several Factory and Satellite race teams to petition support to add women riders to team rosters.  Nikki Harris and Tania Satchwell were the first to receive support during SX from Planet Honda in their attempt to qualify for Men’s Supercross.  Later Jacqueline Strong, Jessica Patterson, Marissa Markelon and others were added to Satellite teams. Ashley Fiolek and Sayaka Kaneshiro were the first females to receive Factory support from Team Honda.  In 2016, Debbie was instrumental in introducing the RCH and Joe Gibbs racing Teams to the Microsoft Business Team interested in becoming a sponsor of Supercross.  Following the introduction, Microsoft and RCH inked a deal for the 2017 series.

Debbie retired from the WML in June of 1999 to dedicate herself full time to the promotion, marketing and teaching of women’s motocross. The result was the creation of WSMX, Inc. During this time, Debbie not only ran the daily operations of WSMX, she was the head coach.  Debbie also created a sister company, DMSports, that ran national race programs, in addition to assisting riders with gaining sponsorship, introducing them to Teams; and in the case of Jacqueline Strong, fully sponsoring her effort for two years.  In her first season with Debbie, Jacqueline’s national professional ranking went from National#10 to National #4 in the AMA Women’s Nationals.

In 1997, Debbie was a member of WMN-Women’s Motorcycling network, comprised of industry experts on the women’s market, organized by the AMA.  During 2000-02, Debbie was a member of the AMA advisory committee for the Motorcycle Hall of Fame and Museum and conducted a MX school and off-road motorcycle demos during the 2000 and 2002 AMA Women’s conference. The school and demo were so popular that the class sold out and over 200 women street riders demo’d off-road bikes during the conference.  During the 2000 AMA Women in Motorcycling conference, Debbie was recognized by the AMA in the Women in Motorcycling exhibit in the following areas: Business, Organizations, Racing, and Media.  The exhibit toured the country for several years.  In 2014, Debbie founded POWR-Professional Organization of Women’s Racing to further develop Women’s racing opportunities across the globe.  The POWR Kickoff event generated the largest Women’s Pro Purse and Bonus program in the history of Women’s Motocross with a $10,000 Pro Purse payout to the top 20 Riders and an additional $5,000 in Bonus Incentives, drawing women from across the world.

Debbie has been featured on multiple television, radio, newspaper, and magazines spanning her career, and was dubbed by the late Erv Braun, AMA Supercross and AMA Pro Motocross announcer as “The Voice of Women’s Motocross, and the “Godmother of Women’s MX” because of her tireless efforts to promote and position Women’s Motocross into mainstream America.   Debbie has been host to two weekly Women’s Extreme Sports Radio shows, and is a published author of Excelling Through Adversity.

Media Files!AmiDY3xY–fOjb4DjjmZ-EXfUJ9cYQ  Motocross Magazine Article!AmiDY3xY–fOjb4CMFTTsQFbWuqmHg  WML Team Newsletters!AmiDY3xY–fOk2-nvny0-CTE1BZf  Book Cover!AmiDY3xY–fOjIwE-xe04oxQjhT-cA  POWR Event Flyer!AmiDY3xY–fOjMt6Gl1gC_eNxOtA6g  Racer X Article!AmiDY3xY–fOjMt7upP2hr9Hfd-HEA Rider Review Article!AmiDY3xY–fOjMt5VLbTBx5FQa6hhQ  Motocross Magazine

Article!AmiDY3xY–fOjb4VMD4YrMIio6XFvg Historical Pictures!AmiDY3xY–fOjb4U9RYtKvDqWdI1ww Industry Pictures!AmiDY3xY–fOjb4SFELCR3FnI4vAFg AMA Women in Motorcycling Recognition Pictures

Additional References

7/1/03 Sipes/Matthews Coach Fellowship of Christian Athletes

2002- Motorcyclist online-KTM talk-Moto School for Kids

Play Like a girl Sports Radio Talk host

Motorcycle Industry news

1990-Buena Park News

1991-Orange County Register- “Girl 8, Races Motorcycles”

1991-Los Angeles Times- “She’s Growing up Fast”

Orange County Sports Talk Live Television interview

98, Oct 2000-American Motorcyclist-vol 58 #7-AMA Women’s Conference Demo and School,

6/93-American Motorscene-By: Courtney Caldwell “Like Mother, Like Daughter”

Day in the Dirt 20 Feature

Cycle News-Multiple competition articles and bylines

1980-Wide World of Sports

College Foundation of North Carolina

Washougal Washington Newspaper

Racer X- “Racer Girls” by: Ed Youngblood

Racer X Online: Hot Summer Nights-Contributor

1/17/01-Motocross for Kids TV- Motocross meets Discovery Jones featuring: Debbie Matthews with Team Green Riders Ben Riddle, Trevor Vines, and Andrew Short


WML Newsletter-Contributor


Heather Majcherek – S. California-WEST-Beginner Coach

California – Learn to Ride, Beginner’s Coach-MX, OFFROAD


Heather Majcherek loves working with Kids and Women, but has also worked with men including an AMA Pro. She has worked extensively with WSMX since 1999 as an Office Assistant, Track Assistant, Photographer, Demonstrator, Public Relations manager and as a coach.

Heather was also a student for many years, and her experience with coaching by the WSMX staff led her to many titles and honors which include: Women’s World Cup Mini Champion, and WML Mini National Champion. Heather holds the record as the Youngest Women’s National trophy holder at age 4, and was also the youngest rider in history to receive an outside corporate sponsor (Natures Recipe Pet Foods) at age 8.

Heather is also the founder and President of WMN Racing in 2007 a grassroots national organization for women in Amateur competition which continues to host the annual WMN International every year !

Heather is continuing her academic pursuits with independent study through Brigham Young University (BYU) where she is attaining her Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations with a Minor in History. Heather is married and has a daughter which by the tender age of 2 already showed signs of following in her mother, and grandmother’s footsteps as a talented rider.

Heather looks forward to each school, meeting new people and is always excited about racing!

Heather-Starwest 2

Chrystal Ponsock

Chrystal Ponsock began riding and racing BMX at the age of five with the help and encouragement of her parents. Her father races motocross and is a big part of Chrystal’s story and success. Chrystal achieved the #1 plate in the girl’s class on bicycles and then started transitioning onto dirt bikes in 1985. By 1990 Chrystal competed in the CMC Golden State and CMC Trans Cal series on a Suzuki 80 finishing 2nd overall in the Trans Cal North series out of 45 competitors, both male and female. Chrystal finished 7th overall in the class following the two-day finale at Marysville CA. Later that year, Chrystal broke her right femur during practice. Within one year Chrystal was back on track in a big way scoring Sportsman of the Year at the Northern Nevada Dealer Challenge and taking the Women’s class championship. Chrystal also won the women’s class during the first Arenacross put on by On Trac Events and was also the top women racer in Northern Nevada from 1989-1992. In 1992 Chrystal attended a MX school and raced Mammoth, finishing 4th in the women’s amateur class.

Chrystal competed in the invitational San Diego MTEG Ultracross in 1995 on the U.S. Women’s Team (WML) finishing 11th out of 22 women, Won the prestigious Virginia City Grand Prix, NV, was featured in Team Green Magazine with Ty Davis and Larry Roesseler, competed in the Women’s West Coast National at Glen Helen and won the AMA District 36 Women’s “C” class. By 1996, Chrystal’s time was divided between Motocross and Offroad racing, competing in the Moon Rocks, AMA Nat’l Hare n Hound in Reno, NV winning in the Women’s “B” class and a 4th Women’s Amateur at the Mammoth Mountain Motocross and the Women’s Amateur class win at the AMA Hangtown National.

The following year in 1997, Chrystal continued her string of strong performances with another win at the Virginia City Grand Prix, NV in the women’s “B” class, capturing the AMA District. 36 number 1 plate for the women’s “B” class. 2001 marked Chrystal’s return to racing after having her second child. Crystal raced 3 rounds of the AMA National series and finished 16th at Glen Helen, 9th at Hangtown and 16th at Washougal after sustaining an injury. Chrystal also raced the prestigious Mammoth MX placing 2nd overall. Chrystal continues to compete in the MRAN events and Women’s Motocross events and is always a threat to win. Chrystal is one of the original instructors for WSMX since 2001 and continues to be a valuable member of the WSMX team and an avid motorcycle rider and racer.

Chrystal in Action

Dannielle Russell – Michigan-MID WEST & CANADA

Michigan, Illinois – MX, OFFROAD

Dannielle Russell began riding three wheelers at the age of 6 with her family around the farm in Michigan. Danni took to the 3-wheeler rather quickly and began racing 4-wheelers with the boys by the time she was 11, which continued through High School. School was important to Danni so she took a few years off to finish school and go to college. When Danni turned 20 she bought a dirt bike and renewed her love and passion for the sport. In 2000 Danni was at the top of her game racing all the local Michigan races, and looking for a new challenge in 2001, Danni entered the Amateur circuit racing the DM Sports Women’s World Series MX Championships where she finished 3rd overall. It was there Danni met WSMX CEO Debbie Matthews who was promoting the series and began to train her.

Danni made her first attempt to qualify for Loretta Lynn’s that year and finished 2nd in the area qualifier, but just missed a seated gate at the Regional qualifier by one spot finishing 9th. Danni made it her goal to work hard and be racing at Loretta’s the following year. Danni raced Loretta’s for the next 6 years with many good finishes, her best an 8th place at the renowned Championship. In 2002 Danni set her sights on racing with the WMA series for the following season. Danni trained and raced the Michigan District 14 series with the women and the men’s class as well, earning the respect among not only the female riders but also the men. Danni finished inside the top 10 in the men’s B class and top 3 in the women’s class.

In 2003 Danni set off to race the WMA series as an amateur in order to earn enough points to get her pro card for 2004. In 2003 Danni raced not only the WMA series but also competed in enough of the races in the Michigan District 14 series to secure third overall in both series respectively. Danni completed this feat, despite suffering a double femur break and missing the final four rounds, costing her the title. Because of her hard work and determination in her run for the Amateur title, the AMA honored Danni with AMA Rider of the Year!! In 2004, just 6 months after her femur break, Danni was back aboard the bike building her confidence, and hitting the gym. Danni’s recovery went so well in 2004 that she actually made her pro debut In November at the WMA International Cup. In 2005 Danni raced the Michigan District 14 series again and hit the Canadian Nationals where she finished inside the top ten, despite running a limited schedule.

In 2006 while preparing for the AMA/WMA Nationals, Danni suffered heartbreak again breaking her shoulder and tearing her AC joint. While Danni recovered, Debbie Matthews approached her to become a trainer for WSMX, where she was able to hone her passion and provide skills and guidance to upcoming riders.
In 2008 Danni began riding again. Danni raced the Michigan District 14 series again finishing top 5 and also raced the Canadian Nationals finishing 6th. In 2009 Danni raced the Canadian Nationals again finishing inside the top ten, and set a goal to race the X Games 2010.

A severely broken back in 2010 derailed her dream, but not her spirit. Danni is not sure what the immediate future holds for her motocross racing days, as she continues her recovery. But one thing is certain you cannot keep this woman down. Danni continues to give back to the sport she loves so passionately and knows what it takes to be the best.

Her passion, work ethic and love for kids continues to propel her and those she trains forward as she helps them achieve their goals and to give to them the same type of support that she received from great people involved in Motocross.