Cherry Gulch has introduced a new sport to our students, BMX racing. Thanks to some wonderful donations by several of our parents, we were able to get seven BMX bikes. So far 13 of our boys have been very interested in the sport. Alex has raced 4 times and has placated 2nd and 3rd in two of the races, Alex says racing is fun for him and enjoys the competition with other kids. Chad raced once with a 3rd place win, Chad enjoyed just being able to ride on a BMX track. Ben raced once as well and in his division he has placed 3rd, Ben just liked the friendly competition. Mathew, who has enjoyed the sport in the past, has been to a few practices and is sharing his love for the sport. Anton raced 3 times and has placed 2nd once and 3rd twice; he says he likes jumping and doing tricks. Eugene raced four times and has placed 3rd & 4th; he said he likes to challenge himself. Caelan is our BMX star. He raced 5 times and has placed 1st twice, 2nd twice, and 3rd once. He likes the adrenalin rush. Connor has raced twice and has placed 1st and 2nd. He enjoys jumping most. Colin raced once and placed 2nd.
A typical race has 3 heats and a final race, when these boys place 1st, 2nd, or 3rd they receive trophies and biker bucks which is money that they can use to buy bike parts or pay for their entry fees. BMX racing is a great sport which can be very motivating for kids especially when they are bringing home trophies. Our Program Coordinator (Cole Sewall) grew up racing BMX locally and truly experienced a great family, fun, competitive sport. He was ranked 35 in the nation when he was fifteen and then went pro for a year.
We have found the ABA BMX association to be a great organization that does not tolerate drugs or alcohol at their events and encourages their riders toward healthy lifestyles and sportsmanship. BMX racing provides our students with a fun way to stay healthy. It can also be a boost to their self-esteem as they see themselves improving and carrying home a 3 foot tall trophy doesn’t hurt either. It is a great lesson to see how hard work and dedication to something leads to improved performance. Physical exercise has many positive benefits but BMX racing also forces one to be very focused and mindful for at least a minute or two and that can be the start to better concentration and focus for longer periods of time. BMX has also been a social experience and the camaraderie of practicing to together, rooting for each other, and the shared experience of the activity has strengthened the relationships the boys have with each other and the staff who coach them. One of our students (Eugene) even started a bike repair shop on-campus but that is the topic of another blog about the EYE Club. We will be building a practice track on-campus in the future.