The Gold Coast Academy of Sport is excited to have introduced a new sport, that of BMX, to its program schedule. Twenty-six young riders between the ages of 7 and 16 took part in the first ever eight-week program the Academy ran at Nerang BMX Centre in October 2019. With two extremely experienced coaches in charge and a number of professionals in their field, these riders experienced a program where they learnt about how to approach their sport in a more holistic way. Presentations included Nutrition, Sports Psychology, Media training, Recovery and injury prevention and rehabilitation, Time management, Strength and Conditioning along with a range of technical aspects in riding and the gate starting. The riders completed the program with a well balanced approach to improve their performance.
BMX is one of the fastest growing sports in Australia where the whole family can participate. With over 110 clubs Australia wide, riders of all ages (from 2 to 50+) are able to compete in organised race meetings at the local level. With both State and Federal governments currently working to address physical activity for people of all ages, this sport is a great option for families to become involved. Riders have the opportunity to compete in competitions at a State, National and World Championship level.
Mountain bike racing entered the Olympic programme at the Atlanta Olympics, followed by BMX racing in 2008. Prior to the 2020 Olympics all events were speed races, but in Tokyo’s programme the sport will feature BMX freestyle for the first time. Freestyle BMX is stunt riding on the BMX bike. It is an extreme sport which has descended from BMX racing that consists of five disciplines: street, park, vert, trails, and flatland.
Known as bicycle motocross, BMX racing uses specially built bikes which take on a rough, cross-country course including specially constructed obstacles. Wheels on a BMX bike are much smaller in diameter and the frame is designed to be small in relation to the size of the rider. Also, there are no shock absorbers on the bike which means that the body of a BMX rider becomes the shock absorbers. This means it is important for the rider to learn to be very precise and accurate.
In Australia, most BMX racetracks have unique characteristics, but they are generally around 350 to 450 metres long with a 3 to 5 metre starting hill and electronic starting gate. There’re also usually four straights built up with fun and challenging dirt jumps for all ages, three berms (raised banked turns) and a finish line.
The objective of the GCAS program is to teach these lessons to the riders whilst also teaching them how they can approach their sport with more knowledge on nutrition, recovery, injury prevention and treatment and other areas.