A young BMX champion's performance could be in jeopardy after her bike was stolen for the second time in just over two months.
Only 12 years old, Maia Colman-Savage holds international accolades for BMX racing, including being a two-time Australian national champion and BMX world champion for her age group in 2013.
Since moving to Havelock North in September, Maia rides with Triple J BMX, the national racing arm of Hawke's Bay BMX.
To keep her fitness up, the Hastings Intermediate student rides 60km a week to and from school, but has been unable to since last Tuesday when the Merida mountain bike she rode was stolen from school grounds.
Her daily rides were extra training, the young athlete said, as there were not many races during winter. She said she worried not being able to cycle would affect her placing, and she would not be able to win races.
"It'll affect my stamina during a race and will make it harder to finish in the top three," she said.
Her mother, Mandy Colman, said the thefts would seriously affect Maia's performance as they could not train at the track after school because it was too dark.
"Riding to and from school was just making sure she got the exercise in ... she's going to have to make up the exercise another way."
Maia had a racing bike for competitions, but was unable to ride this to school. The bike stolen last week was Ms Colman's, which Maia had been riding after her new bike was one of five stolen from the school in March. The thefts occurred while staff and students were at Frimley Park for swimming sports.
When her bike was stolen the first time, Ms Colman said her daughter had been in disbelief.
Thieves had broken the bike's padlock. This time Ms Colman said they removed timber struts from the bike rack's frame, taking them as well as the bike.
"It's not the school's fault, I just think the lock-up area needs to be more secure," she said. "I felt so silly because we didn't have the bike insured. We'd just moved from Australia and still had expenses over there."
A police spokeswoman said bikes could be highly valuable items, so they urged people to use common sense when leaving them in public places.
"Try to park your bike in a well-lit area and chain it securely to a bike rack or fence to help prevent opportunistic crime. Owners are also advised to keep a record of their bike's serial number," she said.
Hastings Intermediate principal Andrew Shortcliffe was unavailable for comment.
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