In BMX terms Hawke's Bay rider Stevie-Lee Reuben is a late starter.

"Stevie-Lee started when she was 10 and most of the riders she races against started as five-year-olds. But she is definitely making up for lost time," proud Mum Shannon said.

Napier Intermediate School year seven student Reuben, 11, returned this week from a stint in Australia as the only Hawke's Bay member of New Zealand's Mighty Elevens team which consisted of four girls and four boys.

Although the Kiwi girls couldn't match the boys' win against their Aussie counterparts, Reuben won the trophy for the best overall girl.


Next month she will be one of 11 Hawke's Bay BMX club members in action at the July 24-28 world championships in Auckland. She will be among 800 Kiwis in the field of 2500 riders in the indoor event being staged at Vector Arena.

In Auckland Reuben will have three races and will be eyeing a top four finish in each to progress on to the quarter-final stage.

After her exploits in Australia, Reuben, who was the Kiwis No2 rider, won't lack confidence in at the worlds. Reuben recorded first, second, third, fourth and fifth placings in her five races during the test.

In addition to these five races, Reuben, who is coached by fellow world championship-bound Bay riders Carl Berryman and Jason Waite, also raced in a mixed class and was the only girl to make the final in which she finished eighth.

Reuben is hoping to make another appearance in a Mighty Elevens test against the Aussies at the Te Awamutu-hosted North Island championships during Labour Weekend. She will trial for the Kiwi team a month before the champs.

"With a couple of her Kiwi teammates in Australia too old for the team again, Stevie-Lee will aim for the No1 role, the captaincy," her mother said.

Along with her BMX racing, Reuben also plays wing attack for her school netball team. Last year she made the Napier D grade rep rugby team but isn't playing the oval ball code this year because of her BMX commitments.

"Stevie-Lee is in BMX for the long-haul. Her long-term goal is Olympic Games selection," her mother added.


Having 11 riders qualify for the world championships is a huge feat for the Bay club which was started in 2010. Berryman, who is also the club chairman, pointed out the club's Havelock North base will have a new-look in two years.

In conjunction with the Hastings District Council, the club has come up with plans to expand their their track as part of the Romanes Drive development. The project will see a toilet block built and more parking facilities.

The other Bay riders who have qualified for the world championships are: Tyler Waite (5-6 years boys); Maia Troup (11 years girls); James Tucker (13 years boys); Amy Martin (14 years girls); Aidan Tucker and John Berryman (14 years boys); Jason Waite (30plus Male Challenge and Male Cruisers); Carl Berryman and Jason Troup (30plus Masters); James Gray (35-39 Male Cruisers).