Rotorua international BMX Racing riders, Megan Williams and Will Skipper proved popular guests at the Otonga Road Primary School.
The riders were guests at the Otonga School Te Kura o Tihiōtonga to talk about their experiences as BMX Racing riders, as they prepare for the UCI BMX Racing World Cup at the Rotorua BMX Supercross track (Te Papa O Te Kauri) in February.
It is the first time that a UCI BMX Racing World Cup has been staged in New Zealand, and will be the opening two rounds of the 2024 world cup season, set for 10 and 11 February. The event will be doubly important as it will be an important qualifying event for the Paris Olympics.
UCI BMX Racing World Cup organisers are keen to promote the sport of BMX Racing in primary schools in Rotorua, which jump-started with current Under-23 Women’s BMX Racing World Cup series bronze medallist, Williams returning to her primary school to talk to students.
Over 500 pupils packed the school hall to listen to Williams and Skipper talk about their experiences competing around the world, and the enjoyment they get from BMX Racing.
Joining them at the promotion were Paul Laing and Tim Rigter from Red Stag Timber, the independent timber company that operate the Waipa Mill. The company is a sponsor of the UCI BMX Racing World Cup in Rotorua and keen supporters of the in-school activation.
“We are based alongside the BMX Track and have supported the club in building this wonderful international facility. We wanted to support our local Rotorua community with this excellent promotion to get more young kids involved in the sport,” said Red Stag Timber General Manager, Tim Rigter.
Williams and Skipper talked about their experiences at the UCI World Championships in Glasgow this year and their enjoyment of riding BMX, along with putting on a display of trick riding.
The pair, supported by the Rotorua BMX Club representative, Sam Hanna, also visited Glenholme Primary School and St Mary’s Catholic School, with several other school visits on the programme.
The Red Stag Jump Start BMX Schools’ programme will provide tickets to the event for a select number from each participating school, while up to 30 pupils from each school will be invited to attend the official training day on Friday 9 February. They will be able to watch some of the world’s best BMX Racing riders in practice and enjoy a unique behind-the-scenes tour by Olympic BMX Silver Medallist, Sarah Walker.
The UCI BMX Racing World Cup in Rotorua comprises two separate competitions days on Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 February.