A life member of the Tamworth BMX Club and BMXA’s Legend of December.
COVER PIC: Mark Stones (middle) at the 2017 BMXA National Championships receiving a special award orchestrated by Butch Broomfield.
BMXA legends come in all shapes and sizes. But at the end of the day, they all have one thing in common – a heart of gold and a never expiring love for BMX.
Tamworth’s ‘Stoney’ has the above qualities and more. The 46-year old has lived BMX his entire life and is not in the process of slowing down anytime soon after making a national championship final at Bunbury BMX Club earlier in the year… his first ever.
What many people might not know about Stoney is that day in and day out, he lives with Cerebral Palsy – a physical disability that affects movement and posture. Yet Stoney’s disability does not hold him back from getting on a BMX bike and living his life to the fullest – and nor should it.
Alongside achieving his goal at nationals this year, the Tamworth shredder also competed at the NSW state titles for the 26th time.
Meet Stoney for yourself and listen, as Prime7 covers his story.
Helping him reach his goals is fellow Tamworth rider, Dan Morris, who has been coaching Stoney for more than one reason.
“My dad used to be his coach and once I got a bit older, I stepped up,” Morris said.
“I have known Mark for 13 years now and I travel with him to many events around NSW.
“Our focus as a team is not so much about getting him winning events, but more about helping him continue his longevity in the sport.”
The relationship between Morris and Stoney is mutually beneficial, with Morris learning more about himself as much as he helps Stoney race BMX.
“He is a major motivator,” Morris continued.
“If you have something tough going on in your life and you’re here with someone else who is having a harder time than you, you seem to get on with life and live it like Stoney does.
“BMX is really helping Stoney. Not only is he always motivated, but it allows him to keep moving freely and help keep his disability in check.”
Stoney has an incredibly large amount of motivation, heart and passion. But Morris’ favourite side of his athlete is his humour.
“His comical side has got to be my favourite. Every time you try to make a situation a little more serious, he puts a funny spin on it. You try to get him into his training and he will come back with a witty response,” Morris said.
Alongside the physical benefits BMX has given Stoney, the Tamworth club has given their rider something that not many other places can give him.
“As soon as he stepped into the sport, people have treated him just like a normal person. He rocks up to the track and people talk to him as if he doesn’t have a disability. We are one big happy family, a friendly community.” Morris explained.
December’s legend has dedicated the majority of his life to BMX and as a reward, his club decided to make him a life member.
“Ever since he started with the club, he has been our most consistent working bee,” said Morris.
“He is always there, week in and week out. He is a great sport and has become a bit of a role model. He never does anything wrong and always abides by the rules. Stoney has been a bit of an inspiration to not just me, but plenty of other people riding.”
For Stoney, his goals for 2019 will be to just keep riding. Keep showing up at race meets and keep racing BMX… it’s as easy as that.
Congratulations on a spectacular year Stoney and we look forward to seeing you in action in 2019. Mark ‘Stoney’ Stones – Legend of the Month.