First BMX event at New Waltham track attracts plenty of competitors
THESE BMXers were flying high at a special open race.
More than 70 riders took part in the event at New Waltham, organised by local charity Giving Young People Opportunities – which campaigned for the track to be built – with assistance from British Cycling, the national governing body for the sport.
It was the first event of its kind held locally and attracted competitors from across Yorkshire and the East Midlands, including 19-year-old Olympic hopeful Grant Hill, as well as giving many young riders from the area a chance to race competitively.
The races ranged from an under-6 section to a race for over-40s but there was plenty of other entertainment, too, with a DJ, bar, hog-roast, and even a temporary stunt section for BMX riders to try.
Come along to our wedding fare, Sunday 23rd June 10am-4pm & receive 5% off the first 5 Civil Ceremonies booked on the day to take place before 31/12/14.
Terms: T&C's apply
Contact: 01472 806743
Valid until: Monday, June 24 2013
Chris Stanforth, treasurer for GYPO, said: "The sport is really growing and seeing it in the Olympics has helped massively with that.
"Today is a chance for people to see what racing is about, somewhere local.
"We have a lot of talent coming through locally and I think the chance to compete in their own back yard will help nourish that. I want to be able to help develop that talent and my dream is to see local kids come through onto the international circuit."
Shane Peagram, veteran rider and volunteer for the East Midlands branch of British Cycling was helping out on the day. He said: "This is a brilliant new event that encourages grass roots riding. It's all about getting young people away from their PlayStations, steering them clear of drugs and alcohol, and getting them to take part in sport instead."
One of these young people is Lewis Willows, 12, of Barnoldby Road, Waltham. He recently rode his first competition in Doncaster and won eight races, and won another on Sunday.
Lewis said: "It's a great facility and I come here every night. I think that having competitions locally will really help me compete at a higher level which I am hoping to do in the future."
Mum Vicky Lawn, 29, said: "BMX is a great sport that keeps him out of trouble and off the streets but there's a good social side, too.
"Some people may say it is dangerous but he wears a helmet. My daughter rides horses which I find much more worrying."
Mr Stanforth added: "It's been a really great day and I have been pleasantly surprised at how many people came.
"Hopefully, it will be the first of many – I'd like to hold two every year if it is possible."