Young champ is rid­ing high


GIVEN he got on his first mo­tocross bike at four years old, it’s fair to say Cooper Ford isn’t your typ­i­cal kid.

Cooper, now 8, took up the sport ear­lier than most and was crowned Aus­tralian Ju­nior Cham­pion for the 65cc 7-un­der 9 class at the Aus­tralian Ju­nior Mo­tocross Cham­pi­onships last week.

The event, held in Penguin on the North-West Coast, pit­ted Cooper against 28 of Aus­tralia’s best rid­ers in his cat­e­gory. The young­ster fin­ished as the only Tas­ma­nian on the podium across the event.

The achieve­ment comes af­ter win­ning two state ti­tles, in New South Wales and Tas­ma­nia, in what has been a stel­lar year.

“Ev­ery now and again I get a bit ner­vous but the thing I en­joy the most is the com­pe­ti­tion of the races,” Cooper said.

He picked up the sport from his father, Stu­art, who used to race. And while Stu­art and wife, Karen, can be onedge watch­ing him com­pete, they are very proud of their son’s achieve­ments.

“To come out num­ber 1 in Aus­tralia was a great achieve­ment and we are very proud,” Stu­art said.

“We are pretty ac­cus­tomed to it now, but some of the big jumps can be quite nerver­ack­ing.

“It’s just some great re­ward for how much he puts into it.”

The fam­ily will travel to Brid­port this week­end for an­other of Cooper’s races, with the young­ster’s fu­ture in the sport look­ing brighter than ever now he can call him­self a na­tional cham­pion.

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