Andy does what he loves

A child­hood spent as a BMX ban­dit has landed Andy Buck­worth the ca­reer of his dreams, writes Jade Kennedy

Townsville Bulletin - - Savvy -

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.

Andy Buck­worth

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