Children lead parents into world of BMX competitions

By John Coker

BMX riding was the one sport Dion and Anna Earnest and their children, Jake and Sacha, could all do as a family.Photo / Dean Purcell.
BMX riding was the one sport Dion and Anna Earnest and their children, Jake and Sacha, could all do as a family.Photo / Dean Purcell.

The Earnests don't do things by halves - all four family members are competing in the World BMX Championships at Auckland's Vector Arena this week.

Jake Earnest, who is contesting the 8-year-old boys' class against riders from 30 countries including 31 other Kiwis, took up the sport at 3 at the Mountain Raiders Club at Pakuranga. Within a year sister Sacha, who will race in the 7-year-old girls' class, mother Anna and dad Dion were also into BMX.

"It was the easiest way we could all do something together as a family," said Mr Earnest, who will race in the 40-44 years men's cruiser class.

This will be the family's first attempt at the world championships where all age groups from 5-year-olds to masters/veterans will ride over the five-day meeting, culminating in the elite men's and women's competition on Sunday.

The children will go into the meeting with leading national rankings in their age groups from the past two national championships. With the short winter days, preparing has not been easy. "The kids are pretty fit. They ... get to a track to practise their riding skills when it's fine."

For the parents the training has been largely confined to a wind trainer in the garage at their Ellerslie home. And when they're not at a BMX race meeting the family mountain-bike together.

- NZ Herald

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