A Telford BMX club has seen a boom in youngsters taking to the track after hosting the British BMX Series in the county for the first time.
Volunteers who run Wrekin Riders BMX Race Club in Dawley are now expecting an even bigger boom in numbers as Team GB BMX riders Liam Phillips and Kyle Evans take to the track in Rio this week. The duo are expected to add to Team GB’s medal haul.
Wrekin Riders, solely run by a small group of volunteers and sponsored by National Windscreens, hosted the final two rounds of the British BMX Series at their track earlier this month. British Cycling have hailed the event as a success and the club now has the opportunity to apply to host the prestigious British BMX Championships next year.
The event saw 750 riders from across the UK, including World Champions, take to the track on each day and attracted up to 3,000 people to the town.
Kieran Edwards, club coach and chairman who also rides at National level for UCC, said: “We have been inundated with enquiries from people wanting to join our club since hosting our National for the very first time this month.
“They either came to watch during the weekend and were stunned that they have a national standard track right on their doorstep and didn’t even realise it was there or they saw the fantastic coverage in the Shropshire Star and Telford Journal and have wanted to know how to start.
“We had one little boy come and watch with his dad and then came to a novice session on Saturday and he was flying from the start gate straight away. He will certainly be one to watch and there’s no doubt he will be racing for Wrekin very soon.
“The free ladies only sessions we started a few months ago with funding from Energize have been a great success with more and more women of all ages coming each week.
“We will now continue these as paid for sessions due to the popularity. One 56 year old woman had never been on a BMX before but now there’s no stopping her and her friends have joined her too.”
Mr Edwards’ son Callum Edwards, 15, from Donnington has finished the British BMX Series in the top spot taking the number 1 plate in the Cruiser category in 15-16 boys.
“With Kyle Evans and Liam Phillips taking to the track in Rio this week our members are very excited about what they could achieve for Team GB and no doubt will be watching.
“It must be remembered both of these young men started out on their local pump tracks and progressed to National racing, European and World racing – we are lucky enough to have a National standard track right here in Dawley and we want anyone and everyone to come and have a go. It is fantastic to see so many enjoying the summer holidays, out in the fresh air, learning new skills, making new friends and getting fit at the same time.”
The £250,000 track is on Duce Drive next to The Langley School and offers club training every Tuesday and Thursday night for expert level riders and novice sessions every Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 12noon.
The club is also offering school holiday Go Ride introductory sessions at pump tracks in Telford before opening the Dawley track to the riders on the final day.
Next week is summer school at Donnington BMX Track from 1pm – 4pm Monday to Wednesday then at the Dawley track on Duce Drive at the same time on the Thursday.
This will repeat the week after at the newly opened Woodside BMX Track.
Visitors are asked to check the Facebook page /WrekinRiders as the track is closed when the club is racing away from home due to lack of volunteers.