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Bournemouth BMX coach hopeful British Championships will leave legacy

A Bournemouth BMX coach hopes that hosting the British BMX Championships will encourage more young riders to take up the sport.

A Bournemouth BMX coach hopes that hosting the British BMX Championships will encourage more young riders to take up the sport.

The championship finale, which will take place over the bank holiday weekend of August 2022 at Bournemouth BMX Club, will bring with it the top riders from around the country.

Bournemouth BMX Club coach John Twitchen said: “It’s good for the sport and cycling generally, it raises the profile of the sport for the local area.” He added that he is excited for riders to experience Bournemouth for the first time, especially in the summer weather.

Bournemouth hosting the British BMX Championships has brought with it a lot of optimism from local coaches and riders that more people will get involved in the sport as it becomes more accessible. Mr Twitchen added: “I really hope the main impact will be more people riding bikes, either for sport or for leisure.”

The sport has gained more attention since Bethany Shriever won gold and Kye Whyte won silver for Team GB at the Olympic games in 2020, and now the spotlight turns to Bournemouth.

“There has been a slight increase of people enquiring (about riding since the Olympics). Though it’s fair to say we had a lot more people riding in lockdown on any old bike. Members weren’t allowed to ride but the track was full. Lockdown was good in that way, people discover open spaces and the BMX track and now we have the biggest membership as long as any of us can remember,” Mr Twitchen added.

Bournemouth BMX Club currently has 198 members and seeing the top talent from all over the country riding on the Iford Lane track brings with it hopes that more people will get out on their bikes. Local rider Emilia Shakles said: “If people go along, I’m sure they’ll want to give it a try. I’m hoping next season more people join the sport because the numbers dropped quite a lot after the pandemic.”

‘Pump tracks’ have been springing up around the country and are free to use by anybody on anything from a bike to a scooter.

As interest in the sport grows, Bournemouth BMX Club’s next race is on January 9th and they are keen for anybody interested to come and see what it has to offer. They also hope to partner with Bournemouth University and get more students on the saddle.

 

Bournemouth BMX Riders
Photo Credit: John Twitchen
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