Olympic heroes inspire the next generation of BMXers

Riders from a Shropshire BMX club have followed in the footsteps of their Olympic heroes by bringing home silverware from the British BMX Championships.

Wrekin Riders BMX Club in Dawley, Telford, joined more than 1,200 riders in the competition, alongside Olympic gold medallist Bethany Shriever and Olympic silver medallist Kye Whyte. The two Olympic heroes both took their British number one titles over the weekend.

From Wrekin Riders, 14-year-old Chelsey Barnett – who attends Telford Park School – finished fourth on her Cruiser in the 13-16 age category and was sixth on her 20 inch BMX race bike.

Barnett, who was also selected to represent the Midlands in the School Games at Loughborough University this weekend, also collected her third trophy of the weekend after finishing seventh in the HSBC National BMX Series 2021.

Representing the youngest riders in the British Championships, five-year-old Heidi Shedden – who attends St Georges Primary School in Telford – came home sixth at her first British Championships.

Shedden is following in her father Gary’s footsteps, who also races BMX, along with her older brother Max, who both raced over the weekend too.

Continuing the success in the girls’ racing, club rider Erin Marsh, 12, from Cookley, near Kidderminster, brought home sixth in the main final.

Eddie Smallman, also aged 12, who attends Haberdashers Abraham Darby School in Telford, has returned to the track after breaking his leg last year and took his first silverware, securing seventh in the main final. He also finished eighth in the HSBC National BMX Series.

Meanwhile Steve Smith, 50, from Stourbridge, who gives up his time to assist the club coach, brought home the final prize for the club after battling his way through the semi-final to make the main final where he took eighth place.

Other riders from the voluntary run club who competed at the British Champs included Sophie Kynaston, who narrowly missed out on the main final when she got fifth place in the semi-final.

Archie Smallman raced two bikes in the competition, while Kelly Thompson competed in female 17-29 Cruiser and Antoni Porebny made it to the quarter-finals in his first British Championships.

Saara Reynolds raced the 30+ Cruiser and was joined on the track by her two sons Markku and Kasperi.

Joshua Orr who also made it to quarter-finals, while Daniel Nayman and Cameron Marsh also competed.

Kieran Edwards, club chairman and coach at the £250,000 national standard floodlight track on Duce Drive, said: “The riders rode exceptionally well during the British BMX Championships despite dealing with nerves and facing the biggest competition of the year after many months off the track due to the pandemic and also some recovering from injury.

“As a club we are so pleased that our riders have been able to race the national and Midlands regional series this year after so long away from competitive racing.

“Some of our riders were due to ride the World BMX Championships in Holland in August but it was cancelled apart from the Elite categories so the British titles and the National series trophies they have brought home have helped put smiles on their faces. Our riders at the Brits were also pleased to congratulate Beth and Kye face to face and see them win their British titles.

“There is no doubt there has been a significant boom in interest in BMX since the Olympics and we are enjoying every second of it.

“We are a voluntary run club and are putting on as many sessions as we can to introduce new riders to the exciting sport of BMX racing.

“There’s not many sports where the riders can start from balance bikes as soon as they are walking and progress and ride alongside their parents and even grandparents in some cases. It really is a sport for everyone.”

Anyone who is interested in trying out BMX racing should message the club’s Facebook page @WrekinRiders

Most Read

Most Read

Top Stories

More from the Shropshire Star

UK & International News