Worlds for na­tional champ BMX rider

South Waikato News - - Your Paper, Your Place - LUKE KIRKEBY

Toko­roa BMX rider Dion Newth has once again been crowned a na­tional cham­pion putting him in good stead ahead of the July world cham­pi­onships.

The 44-year-old, who was born and raised in Toko­roa, took out the top spot in the Cruiser 40-44 age group cat­e­gory in the re­cent New Zealand BMX Cham­pi­onships held in Te Awa­mutu.

It’s the sec­ond year in a row Newth has claimed the ti­tle af­ter re­turn­ing to the sport in 2015 fol­low­ing a 12 year break.

The win means he has now qual­i­fied to take part in the UCI BMX World Cham­pi­onships in Rock Hill, South Carolina from July 25-29.

De­spite be­ing up against some of the world’s top rid­ers, he said he’s feel­ing pos­i­tive about his chances of plac­ing.

‘‘I am aim­ing for the top ten as there are peo­ple I have raced na­tion­ally who have gone be­fore and they’ve placed within the top ten so it is very achiev­able,’’ he said.

That’s not to say he’s ex­pect­ing to find things easy.

‘‘The peo­ple I will end up rac­ing I will never have raced be­fore as it is an in­ter­na­tional event but I am mo­ti­vated to train the hardest I have ever trained and pre­pare my­self emo­tion­ally and phys­i­cally to bring the best pack­age I can to the world stage,’’ he said.

Cur­rently that in­cludes train­ing for at least two hours a day but with Toko­roa hav­ing no des­ig­nated BMX track he has to also travel for al­most an hour to the near­est track.

‘‘My club is Ro­torua and be­cause Toko­roa doesn’t have a track I also travel to Taupo, Cam­bridge, Te Awa­mutu, and Tau­ranga,’’ he said.

Newth, who is an ap­pren­tice at South Waikato Pre­ci­sion En­gi­neer­ing, said with no spon­sor­ship his only ma­jor set­back to get­ting to the world cham­pi­onships is now hav­ing to come up with the money to do so.

‘‘I have started a Givealit­tle page, ap­proached Sport Waikato, Maori trusts, as well as work­ing ex­tra hours by start­ing to work on Satur­days so I can con­trib­ute too as it’s an op­por­tu­nity I don’t re­ally want to pass up,’’ he said.

‘‘I have had a pas­sion for the sport and al­ways have since I was a kid. It gives me so much en­joy­ment, it keeps me fit, and there is so­cial as­pect of it. I just love it.’’

To do­nate visit givealit­ or visit his Face­book page to of­fer spon­sor­ship.

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