By SHELLEY TOPP
The young niece of champion BMX riders Tahlia and Ella Hansen made an impressive race debut at the North Canterbury BMX club’s meeting last Sunday.
Skyla Hansen, aged 4, finished third in her first race at the club’s end-of-season inter-club competition at the club’s Rangiora track.
Her grandfather, John Hansen, who is vice-president of the North Canterbury BMX Club, says Skyla began riding a little strider as a toddler and has been riding a two-wheeler bike for about 18 months.
“They learn to ride bikes early in my family,” he says.
His daughter, Tahlia, is a three times world BMX champion, while her younger sister, Ella, is a five-times national age-group BMX champion. Skyla’s brother, Brooklyn, is also a talented BMX rider.
At the BMX New Zealand National Championships in Te Awamutu last April, Ella won the Girls’ 15 Grade title, while Tahlia placed third in the Women’s Elite Grade and Brooklyn finished third in the Five and Under Grade.
John, a BMX rider back in the 1980s, took Tahlia and Ella along to the track. They loved it and became interested in competing. Skyla has been similarly influenced by her brother.
“She is always down at the track, with Brooklyn and is interested in racing too,” John said.