Club tells of successful Ride IN2BMX day focussed on inclusion for riders with a disability.
Can you remember your first time on a bike?
That sensation of adrenaline, wave of excitement and cheer of delight as you came down the start hill and made your way through a BMX strip.
That exact feeling was on the cards for five riders at the Penrith BMX Club recently when they held a Disability Day for individuals with special needs and it was an unquestionable success.
Ride IN2BMX days are a fun and engaging way to encourage those who are interested in trying BMX, giving participants the basics while in a safe and encouraging environment.
Running the day was Penrith’s Director of Administration Kyle Paterson, who was blown away by the excitement and success their unique event created.
“We had riders with many different disabilities, and it went really well,” Paterson explained.
“We were very fortunate to have a lot of coaches on hand to help out the day. We had our own Chris Page, Fraser Hamilton, Donna Fleming and Brian from BikeWorks down in Southlake.
“The purpose of the day was to try and get a class created so they can compete during events just like they can in rugby and tennis. Longer down the track, we hope we can have a Paralympic team.
“We are currently following up with those who had a successful day on track and to see if they want to sign up, we had great feedback, so we are sure they’ll be back”
Leading the belief that BMX has no boundaries in disabilities is Tamworth’s life member Mark ‘Stoney’ Stones, who has lived BMX his entire life with cerebral palsy and has no intention of slowing down, turning up on the day to help encourage new riders to get on a bike and have a go.
“It was so great to have Stoney turn up”, Paterson said.
“He made the trip all the way down from Tamworth and everyone really appreciated his time and efforts there.”
The five participants had an action-packed day, beginning with some simple drills around the canteen area to analyse their abilities and their confidence, before letting them go on the straights teaching pumping and other skills.
By the end of the day, they were riding the full track and the entire coaching team were thrilled by their efforts and the rewarding feeling they experienced.
“The whole day was so rewarding for us, in particular was helping one of the riders get through his first jump,” Paterson said.
“I was really encouraged by what we saw and what we achieved, and we are really motivated to have another inclusion day for special needs at the start of next year.
“It was so good have Stoney there showing people that we are very accommodating and, just like every club, always do our best to get everyone on a bike.”
Like Stoney, there are many BMXA family members who live their lives with a disability and find salvation through BMX.
Some other heroes include:
Do you know of any other unsung heroes?
Let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Are you interested in holding your own Ride In2BMX day?