Training wheels hit a bump

BMX racing

A GRIFFITH BMX rider has a shot at being crowned Australian champion in May, unfortunately his closest training facility is three hours away.

Richie Spencer has competed at the World Championships against the best BMX racing competitors in his age group and will travel to Shepparton next month to vie for the Australian title, but in the meantime, training means travel.

In the eight-year-old's short career, he has also competed at the British championship three times and finished sixth twice, and more recently, has competed at the Victorian and ACT titles.

However, since Richie moved to Griffith from the United Kingdom, his training has hit the skids.

Richie's father, Matt Spencer, has been spinning his wheels for more than a year in an attempt to launch a local BMX racing club and build a dirt track.

The BMX enthusiast has called on parents to get kids on their bikes to help him get the club off the ground.

“If we got a club up and running we’d set up a track so the kids could train here,” Mr Spencer said.

“I’ve been in conversation with council and the PCYC to get the club going but I’ve been trying for over a year.

“We’re at the stage now where we just need to prove to council that there are enough people keen to get involved and that it’s not just me going ‘oh can we have a BMX track’.”

Mr Spencer said the sport’s profile had been steadily rising since it became an Olympic event and Australian Caroline Buchanan became the female world champion.

“Everyone’s got a bike, you don’t need a BMX, and once we get the club off the ground I’ll be able to take training as the coach,” he said.

“Everyone seems to think it’s just a boy’s sport but Australia has the women’s champion and my daughter Georgie competed in her first race when she was six.

“It’s different and fun and absolutely everyone can get involved.”

Richie has put the word out to Griffith kids considering adopting the sport, claiming it’s more than just racing.

“There’s lots of things I like about the sport, like getting heaps of exercise, making friends and taking home big trophies,” Richie said.

“I love the racing but I also like doing tricks, like the fork glide, and it’s heaps of fun to ride with your friends.”

Interested locals can go to the “Riverina BMX Race track” facebook group for more details about BMX racing in Griffith. 

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