BMX Australia is excited to announce a new category of participation within the sport of BMX, opening it up to children as young as 2 years old.
Following the successful trial and demonstration of the balance bike concept at the 2012 BMX National Championships, the category will be open for membership from January 1, 2013. To be known as “BMX Mini Wheelers”, participants will be able to ride what is commonly known as balance bikes – bikes with no pedals.
BMX Mini Wheelers is an introductory level where riders develop balance, gross motor skills and independence to begin riding a bike. Riders will be able to develop skills that allows their progression in the sport to become seamless as they progress on to the more traditional BMX bike at 5 years of age.
BMX Australia President Barry Knight has welcomed the additional category to the sport saying he was impressed with the skills of the riders who took part in the initial demonstration in April.
“We’ve seen balance bikes become commonplace for children between the ages of 18months and 4years in recent times,” Mr Knight said.
“Introducing the BMX Mini Wheelers, allows us to engage young riders not just for progression through BMX itself, but to pass on important development skills for young children.
“BMX Australia introduced the concept as a demonstration only at the National Championships this year; the response has been overwhelming. The boys and girls who took part clearly showed us that children in this age group are ready for such a program; there were smiles all round and the parents have told us they want more.
“I see this initiative as one which has many far reaching benefits in getting our children active and instilling healthy lifestyle options from a young age.”
BMX Mini Wheelers becomes the new entry point into the sport for riders too young or not competent in progressing to the Sprocket program. After participating as a BMX Mini Wheeler riders would have become familiar with the BMX track and be on their way in developing their skills so that the transition to Sprockets is much easier.
In launching this new category, BMX Australia has come up with 2 ambassadors for the BMX Mini Wheelers in Dex and Lex. Aimed at engaging with the younger age group, Dex and Lex are just like the riders themselves who will be riding in this new category. They are a fun, energetic and playful pair who love to ride their mini wheeler bikes; they love to get out on the track to develop their skills which they practice regularly so they can help their friends make the jump up to a Sprocket Rocket.
BMX clubs across Australia will be able to deliver the BMX Mini Wheelers category through existing resources and track facilities they have in place. Already a number of clubs have expressed interest with some preliminary trials taking place.
Olympic silver medallist Sarah Walker (NZ) is to have surgery today on her damaged shoulder and will be off her bike for up to six months.
The former BMX world champion dislocated her shoulder at the UCI World Cup in Norway in April but showed remarkable recovery to get her back on the bike in mid-May, nursing her way to Olympic qualification at the world championship in Birmingham.
Walker managed the injury throughout her Olympic campaign and while it caused no significant issues on the way to her outstanding silver medal in London, her medical team believe there is a strong chance that her shoulder will dislocate again.
“I have been told there is a 75-90 percent chance that it will go out again as it is but that with surgery it will reduce that down to about 3 percent,” Walker said.
“With the nature of BMX, I know that I will not go another four years without crashing so there is too much at risk.
“In the big picture of the next four years, now is the best time and it will give me at least three months of time on my bike before the World Championships in Auckland next July.”
Walker will have the surgery in Hamilton today under Dr Chris O’Meeghan. Full recovery will take up to six months although she will be able to move the shoulder in a few weeks.
“I'm a quick healer so hopefully it will take less than the six months.”
Three months on from London, Walker has remained busy with school visits and events resulting from the Olympics.
Rico is a three time BMX world champion.
He won world titles at age 5 and 6, and at this year’s World Champs in Birmingham he won his third world title, aged just 9.
Rico is a member of the Waitakere City BMX Club in New Zealand.
His motivation for competing at these high levels is intrinsic. Rico has a natural desire to improve and has the skill to match, which is evident in his results thus far.
The young riderhas a bright future ahead and aims to represent New Zealand at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Image courtesy of BikeNZ
(Ottawa, ON – November 02, 2012) Cycling Canada is pleased to announce the appointment of Ken Cools as the new Head Coach of the Canadian BMX cycling team, bringing top international coaching talent to Canada.
Cools, who has been coaching the New Zealand BMX cycling team for the past five years, led one of his athlete’s to a silver medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games in the women’s race, and has coached NZ athletes to five UCI World titles since 2008. As Head BMX Coach he will be responsible for the development of an overall plan for the delivery of the Canadian BMX program, including the identification of the 2016 and 2020 cohorts of riders that will be developed and for the development of a strategy for coach development. He will oversee Canada’s participation in Junior and Elite World Championships and major international events including the World Cups one of which will be hosted in Abbotsford in 2013. “Ken Cools brings a wealth of expertise in BMX cycling, having previously worked with elite athletes at the international level. We strongly believe that, in collaboration with the great development work done by Adam Muys at the national level, Canada will grow and become a top nation in BMX as we now move forward to Rio 2016,” said Jacques Landry. “We warmly welcome Ken within the Canadian Cycling community as we strive to become a leading cycling nation by 2020 and beyond.” “This opportunity aligns with my current experience as a high performance and development BMX Coach. Since I began my coaching career as an international coach in 2001, I have worked with and continue to develop both World and Olympic Champions, including five UCI Elite World Champions and one Olympic medalist,” said Ken Cools, who will begin his duties as Head Coach as of November 12, 2012. “This opportunity appeals to me, as it will allow me to develop a high performance culture and team. I wish to continue to develop and cherish the Canadian vision for existing and upcoming athletes, some of whom I have had the opportunity to train in the past.” Cools will work with the current Canadian BMX team members in place, including 2012 Olympian Tory Nyhaug, as well as with up-and-coming BMX riders. This newly created position is supported by Own the Podium for the quadrennial leading up to Rio 2016 and, subject to results achieved, beyond those Games. The BMX coach role through to the London 2012 Olympic Games has been covered by Adam Muys through the support and collaboration of Cycling BC where he leads their BMX program. Adam has determined that his expertise at this time is in working with development riders and carrying out his Cycling BC responsibilities. He, along with other provincial BMX coaches, will work closely with Ken Cools to improve the BMX system in Canada, building and training new champions.
Entries are now open and online for riders wishing to compete in the BMX Australia National Series.
The National Series is held over 7 rounds starting in January at Nerang (QLD), before moving to Perth (WA), then to the ACT before culminating at the Sleeman Sports Complex in Queensland where the final round will be held in conjunction with the National Championships.
Adding to the existing series of Champbikx and Probikx is the inclusion of the Challenege Series. This new series adds 17-24 Men, 17+ Women and Masters (Men 30 & Over).
To date, the national series has been confined to riders aged from 14 years through to Elite riders with its focus on riders wishing to compete against the worlds best by gaining UCI points. The Challenge series now opens the door to riders in the 17-24 Men, 17+ Women and Masters (Men 30 & Over) to ride in a national series without gaining UCI points which has previously excluded them from riding in the Challenge classes at World Championships.
BMXA General Manager Mark Louis has welcomed the new series saying the appeal of BMX continues to grow and that demand for new races has reached new highs.
“We’ve seen interest in BMX and racing continue to rise in the wake of the Olympics and news of the success that Australian BMX riders have achieved globally,” Louis said.
“The sport is one that all members of the family can be involved in and we need to continue to offer opportunities to those who remain in the sport and wish to compete at a National level.
“What the National Challenge Series offers is a series for riders to compete in who may otherwise not have competed at all; and it allows rider who haven’t previously raced in a national series to give it a go.
“All in all, BMX is enjoying considerable growth and is being recognised as a legitimate cycling discipline offering its riders and supporters opportunities to compete at the highest levels.”
This year’s series will serve as a valuable tool for riders wishing to compete at both the National Championships and then World Championships. While the National Series is a not a qualifier for either the Nationals or Worlds, the time on the track competing against some of the best riders nationally will place riders in good stead for qualifying to compete internationally at the World Championships in Auckland.
Round 7 coincides with the National Championships at the Sleeman Sports Complex will take on a greater significance for the Probikx Tour with the Junior Elite and Elite categories being upgraded to a Continental Championship. This championship event opens the way for international riders in the Oceania region to compete against Australian riders ahead of riding against them at the World Championships in Auckland come July, 2013.
Image courtesy of Peter Ford (CSN)
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