By ABIGAIL CASPARI in Rotorua
Kawerau's Sarah Walker is the fastest young woman on two wheels. The Year 12 student at Trident High School receives the Daily Post Youth in Excellence Award today - mainly for her BMX riding abilities.
Last month Sarah won silver in her age group at the BMX world championships in Paris and was sixth in the cruiser event in which she was one of the youngest racers.
She has been a national champion seven years in a row making her the fastest woman BMX rider in New Zealand.
While Sarah is committed to her studies and will return to complete Year 13 next year, she has her sights set on taking BMX riding as far as she can.
She would like to compete at the world championships in Brazil and then Canada followed by the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Academically, the 17-year-old has done well. She was the top student in Year 10 and every year she has taken the top award in physical education.
Trident High School principal Peter Tootell says Sarah has also got great people skills.
"She has a wonderful personality and is an excellent public speaker," he said.
"Sarah has always been a high achieving academic and has now managed to fit in being number two in BMX riding in the world.
"She is an outstanding young woman in every respect," Mr Tootell said.