Pro-rid­ers tour bowls

Central Otago Mirror - - NEWS - By MAR­JORIE COOK

Auck­land BMXrider Jaden Leeming is living theBMX dream.

The 21-year-old pro­fes­sional is a rel­a­tive newbie on the in­ter­na­tional scene but has made his mark af­ter a sea­son in the United States at the end of last year.

Leeming hosted Corey Bo­han (Australia), Kris Fox (US), and Mike ‘‘Hucker’’ Clarke (US) in Wanaka and Queen­stown last week as part of a month-long Red Bull-sup­ported camper­van tour to pro­mote the sport in the re­gions.

The in­ter­na­tional rid­ers are idolised in the BMXscene and Leeming was help­ing them search for the best dirt parks and con­crete skate sports the coun­try can of­fer.

The 3,200 kilo­me­tre Tip To Tail tour will fea­ture in six web video episodes to be re­leased later this month.

Leeming told the Mir­ror last week the film­ing was ‘‘pretty much half and half a life­style and rid­ing trip’’ that had in­cluded other ac­tiv­i­ties such as white wa­ter raft­ing and rid­ing Wanaka trails.

He felt priv­i­leged to show his BMX ‘‘in­spi­ra­tions and idols’’ around the coun­try.

New Zealand’s dirt parks and con­crete bowls ‘‘do not get the lime­light they de­serve’’ and although the tour had not at­tracted huge num­bers, the re­cep­tion from lo­cal rid­ers had been good, Leeming said.

Leeming has been pro­fes­sional nearly two years but has been pro­gress­ing to that goal since tak­ing up the sport aged nine.

Park sports were grow­ing in New Zealand and many peo­ple did not re­alise the small towns did ‘‘old school con­crete bowls’’ re­ally well.

One of the is­sues for Kiwi BMXers is there is not much else Pro­fes­sional

BMX rider Corey Bo­han of

Australia in Wanaka’s skate park last week. but con­crete bowls and small dirt parks in the re­gions.

While the coun­try had a ‘‘great scene’’ there was scope for more in­door fa­cil­i­ties sim­i­lar to those in Australia, Leeming said.

‘‘There’s def­i­nitely room for a sum­mer camp..’’

In­door fa­cil­i­ties al­low ath­letes to prac­tice tricks in safe en­vi­ron­ments that avoid or min­imise in­juries.

Many BMXers learn the hard way – and Leeming learned again when he knocked him­self out while film­ing at Gorge Rd last week.

Leeming said the tim­ing of the ac­ci­dent was okay be­cause he had al­ready planned time off sport for a Red Bull ath­lete sum­mit.

He is look­ing for­ward to li­ais­ing with ath­letes from other sports, like mul­ti­sport and sail­ing.

‘‘It is good for me to see what ev­ery­one else is up to,’’ he said.

mar­jorie.cook@fair­fax­me­ BMX­dream: Jaden Leeming of Auck­land in the Gorge Rd bike park last week.

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