By Horiana Henderson
Rylee Kemp may have been beaten but he was certainly not bowed, as the Australian BMXer vowed to return to the Anchor AIMS Games.
Kemp and fellow Aussie Jeremy Pettett both reached the closing stages of this year’s competition, testing themselves against New Zealand’s best and loving the experience.
For Tasmanian Kemp, getting here meant using a GoFundMe page to raise $1150, something he’s keen to repeat.
“I think it’s really great that people helped me get here,” the 11-year-old said. “If I train hard enough, hopefully Mum and Dad will bring me back!”
It was his parents that first got the Somerset Primary student into the sport five years ago.
“Dad gave me my first bike for Christmas – we went to the track and I started to like it,” he said.
Dad’s advice this week was to “stay low in the corners and train a lot” and he ended up finishing eighth in the finals of the Year 7 boys’ division.
“I got the gate but then everybody just went straight in front of me. It was really fun anyway and the others all did really good.”
Pettett made it to the semifinals but just missed a spot in the top eight. While disappointed, he conceded it was a fair result.
“New Zealanders are good.”
The Melba Copland Secondary School student now knows exactly what he needs to work on in future.
“I really have to work hard on my uphill sprints. You need a lot of power in your legs and to be fit,” Pettett said.