Andy does what he loves
A childhood spent as a BMX bandit has landed Andy Buckworth the career of his dreams, writes Jade Kennedy
As a kid, there was nothing Andy Buckworth wanted more than to ride his bike. ‘‘ At school I’d be sitting there wishing I was at home riding my bike,’’ he said.
‘‘ Whenever I wasn’t riding I’d be thinking about being down the skate park with my friends riding and jumping tricks.’’
Buckworth, now 21, is living his dream as a world-class BMX rider touring Australia as part of the Nitro Circus crew.
‘‘ I got on a bike with training wheels and since then I’ve been all about bikes,’’ Buckworth said.
‘‘ I started racing BMX aged 10, but discovered my reason for racing was to be jumping, so I quit racing and started hitting the skate parks with my mates doing jumps and flips and tricks.
Buckworth said his parents had always been supportive of his BMX career, although his dad was still a bit perplexed by it.
‘‘ Dad doesn’t really understand it as much,’’ Buckworth said.
‘‘ He’s worried that I’ll get hurt, but also he comes from a generation where you have to work hard to get somewhere in life, learn a trade or something to make a living, so he doesn’t get how I can be making money from doing something I’ve always loved.
‘‘ Mum, on the other hand, she’s been there every step of the journey and though she gets worried sometimes I just tell her I’ve got it in the bag.’’
Buckworth’s journey has been a phenomenal one.
Barely out of his teens, Buckworth was last year invited to participate in the X Games in Los Angeles – the extreme sports olympics, if you will – where he won bronze. ‘‘ The X Games was amazing,’’ he said. ‘‘ I was stoked to even get invited to participate, so to go over there and win a medal was a dream come true.’’
Buckworth’s advice for kids wanting to follow in his footsteps is, ‘‘ get the right protective equipment and give it a go.’’ ‘‘ Follow your dreams,’’ he said. ‘‘ If you really want to do something, work out what you have to do to get there and go for it.’’
That attitude saw Buckworth pull off two world-first tricks in New Zealand.
‘‘ I’m pretty decent now at front flips, so I just took what I do with regular front flips and tried it with a double front flip,’’ he said.
The result was a double front flip no-hander and a double front flip superman flip.
A try-anything attitude also led to a pretty crazy party trick.
‘‘ At school I was really flexible and one day someone came up to me and asked if I could kick myself in the head,’’ he said.
‘‘ I said, ‘ I don’t know’ and gave it a go, then discovered I could do it with both feet at the same time... someone will mention it at a party now and nobody believes them so I have to do it pretty regularly.’’
>> Nitro Circus Live will appear at Dairy Farmers Stadium on Saturday 26 March. Tickets are priced from $ 59 per adult or $ 39 per child under 14 for general admission. Tickets can be purchased online at www. ticketek. com. au.