PICTURED: Thrills, spills and much more for BMX lovers in Rotherham

Riders at Rotherham BMX.Riders at Rotherham BMX.
Riders at Rotherham BMX.
MORE and more kids are discovering the joys of BMX, not least in Rotherham.

A patch of land at Little Common Lane, near Winterhill School at Kimberworth, has been transformed into a local hub for two-wheeled fun.

There’s jumps, dips, banked corners and speedy sections and the people who use it absolutely love it, as shown when the Advertiser paid a visit on a sunny Monday night.

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 “I do it to keep my cardio (fitness) up and it helps with my motocross (off-road mororbike racing) as well,” says Abby Billups (12), from Thrybergh.

“I’ve done five or six races this year. It’s different to riding a bike because you have to learn how to balance on the gate."

The fact BMX as an Olympic sport has increased its appeal and some of the biggest names in the sport have visited the home of Rotherham BMX Club.

Abby has enjoyed coaching from Quillan Isidore, who is on Olympic GB squad for Paris 2024. She’s also met a former GB squad member in Ellie Featherstone as well as motocross ace Kelvin Batey.

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"I would like to go to the Olympics,” says Abby, “Hopefully the BMX will work out and if it doesn’t I’d like to go to motocross.”

Fun on the course at Kimberworth. Pictures by DAVE POUCHER

Rotherham BMX Club is open for all.

It has members that have ridden at World Championships and British title holders and welcomes beginners of any age. Bikes and equipment are available for hire.

The sport doesn’t just specialise in thrills either.

It’s a place for fresh air and friendship and, in 13-year-old Jessie Leasley’s case, it has huge benefits for the mind.

“Because I have autism, it helps regulate all my emotions,” explains Jessie. “It’s a good outlet if I’m feeling stressed.

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“I come to here two nights a week and go to other tracks as well and I have made a lot of new friends. I love the adrenaline and competition as well.”

Bumps and bruises are part and parcel of BMX racing, but it’s worth it.

“I’ve had a few falls,” said Jessie. “I broke my ankle a few weeks ago and I’ve had a two concussions but it doesn’t put me off.

“I find coming here has helped my confidence. I used to be really introverted but now I talk to a lot more people. It has really helped me.”

The track is open to the public seven days a week.

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Bookings can made on the club website or visitors can pay on the day for as little as £3 (members) or £5 (non members).

Rotherham BMX has members of all levels, from novices through to National and European riders regularly making podiums. On the track there are  burms (banked corners), table tops (a racing straight) and whoopsies (a series of small jumps).

“ I like the manuals,” says Alex Hague, another regular at Kimberworth who has been riding for around 18 months.

“ You are basically on your back wheel and go flying over a jump without pedalling. It's really good fun.

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 “That’s what I have been practising for the last two months. I like the speed of it all and being up in the air.” 

Alex (13) goes to Winterhill School, just a stone’s throw from the track, and even when he leaves, BMX will remain a part of his life. “ I want to keep doing it for fun,”  he says.

“I’ll probably still be doing it when I’m older as a pastime, even if I’m not racing.” 

It is comments like that which bring a smile to the face of track co-ordinator Carole Foster, who has been a driving force behind making Rotherham BMX Club what it is today. 

 “You can work at your own level and you​ don’t have to be part of a team, ”  she says. “ That suits some people. It’s a great sport to be involved in.”

For more information visit www.rotherhambmx.com

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