Ria claims BMX championship

IPSWICH BMX Club's Ria Goodman claimed the women's title at the East Anglian BMX Club Championships recently before immediately calling for more young girls to follow in her footsteps.

IPSWICH BMX Club's Ria Goodman claimed the women's title at the East Anglian BMX Club Championships recently before immediately calling for more young girls to follow in her footsteps.

The 22-year-old first took up the sport at the age of six and, since then, she has gone on to become a five-times British champion and competed at European and World Championships.

“There is an awful lot of talent at the club, but it is not reaching its potential as there is a lack of backing financially,” bemoaned Goodman, who is also the club's secretary.

“We are crying out for more riders, especially girls as currently I am the only female rider here.”


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Any aspiring young female riders need look only as far as Shenaze Reade, Britain's leading female BMX competitor.

After the 20-year-old successfully defended her World Championship crown earlier this year, Reade travelled out to Beijing as Britain's sole female BMX rider in the year the sport made its Olympic debut.

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And although a crash in the final denied the gold medal favourite a podium finish, BMX racing, and in particular female BMX racing, was thrust into the British public's eye.

“There has been a massive interest over the last month and numbers have been up,” said Goodman.

“A lot of riders have come from normal cycling but haven't minded taking a tumble or two while getting used to BMX.”

This was reflected at the recent East Anglian BMX Club Championships - an annual event contested by riders from across the entire eastern region - where over 100 riders took part in front of a large crowd at Ipswich's Landseer Park.

There were promising performances from the Ipswich club who, despite having far fewer finances and facilities then many other rival clubs, saw John Lillingstone and Shaun Andrews fourth and fifth respectively in the 17+ category.

Another fifth place was gained by Robert Haynes in the 30+ race before Goodman won her women's race.

Elsewhere, two of the club's youngsters, Jack Driver and Lewis Hargreaves, had fine days. Driver finished second in the 15-16 age group, while Hargreaves won the Novice Race.

Goodman said: “It went really well as there was a big turn out from the riders, probably the best I've seen at Ipswich. There was also a really great crowd and the fact that there was great weather only added to the day. All the riders had a great day and there were no injuries.”

For more information on Ipswich BMX Club, please visit: www.ipswichbmx.co.uk.

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