By ROBYN BRISTOW
Woodend’s Liam Goodwin is flying high in his sport.
The 20-year-old took out the elite men’s section at the South Island BMX Titles in Rangiora last weekend.
“I am pretty stoked to win my first elite title,” he says.
Liam loves the high energy, adrenaline-pumping sport that “gets the heart going”.
“It’s good fun going riding at high speed and soaring through the air doing huge jumps.
“I have a passion for the sport and I will keep doing it for as long as I have that passion.”
Liam enjoys travelling to events throughout New Zealand, revels in the camaraderie, and hopes one day he might attend a World Cup once the Covid-19 threat passes.
Liam was one of 25 members of the North Canterbury BMX Club competing in the two-day event, which drew more than 260 riders from throughout New Zealand.
The riders turned on an extraordinary display of skill and speed on the club’s new track, which meets national standards. Many club members were placed, with Liam, Riley Smart and Nigel Coughlan winning titles.
Liam has been riding for 16 years. He could barely reach the pedals as a 4-year-old when he began competing.
His older brother rode, and the sport became a family affair.
“I kind of grew up riding. I love riding bikes and racing. I’m a pretty competitive person.”
His title comes after shoulder surgery last September injury caused not only by spills from his BMX bike, but his motorcycle.
“It is just my second race back after keyhole surgery. My shoulder kept dislocating.
“It is a high risk sport,” he acknowledges.
He is vice-president of the club and says the track is a credit to everyone who volunteered their time, particularly president and track manager Mike Smart, who spent hours working to ensure it was up to scratch for the event.
“It’s now a world class facility,” says Liam, who believes it puts the club in a good position to one day host the nationals.
“It is a great community asset and will hopefully increase the number of people riding.”
For many, it was a chance to use the South Island event as a springboard in preparation for the nationals in Rotorua in March.
Liam says the facility will benefit his preparations for the nationals. He also hopes it will encourage new members.
Kerryn Clark, whose son Logan rode into sixth place in the 14 boys section, and who was trackside earlier than many to ensure everyone was well fed, says the sport is not just about competing.
“It’s about friendships. There is no negativity, and it has been amazing to watch the group my son has competed with become great mates who encourage each other, and congratulate each other at the finish line for a great ride.
“They are a great bunch, and it is worth travelling to events to keep these friendships growing,” says Kerryn, who will be heading north with Logan and her family to the nationals.