Tauranga’s top BMX riders will turn teachers this weekend, as the fast-paced wheeled warriors prepare to make their NZCT AIMS Games debut later this year.
BMX is set to become the 20th sport at the annual week-long intermediate-aged sporting tournament, which last year drew more than 8000 junior athletes to Tauranga.
Now the Tauranga BMX club is launching their year with a ‘have a go’ day at 3pm on Saturday, aimed at attracting eligible Year 7 and 8 students into the sport.
“We’re really excited about being included in the AIMS Games this year and it’s going to be a huge profile boost for our amazing sport,” AIMS Games BMX race director Tina Bourke said. “Our open day is for anyone curious or keen to try BMX – we’ll have bikes and helmets available, while our members will be helping out with advice and encouragement.”
This year’s tournament will be held from September 4-9, with BMX debuting as a three-day competition including motos, time trials, and a school team challenge/event on 20-inch bikes.
Eligible intermediate-aged riders need to be members of their local BMX club, to ensure they have some level of track experience prior to the championships.
Bourke is hoping clubs around New Zealand follow Tauranga’s lead, using open days to form relationships with the nearly-250 intermediate and middle schools registered around New Zealand.
AIMS Games tournament director Vicki Semple is delighted to have BMX included this year.
“BMX supporters lobbied us passionately for some time and in the end, put together a proposal that we just couldn’t ignore,” Semple said. “It will continue to add to the flavour of the NZCT AIMS Games and, as an Olympic sport, will provide another valuable pathway for athletes wanting to make it to the highest level. Even if they don’t have those ambitions, it’s just a whole lot of fun and really exciting to watch.”
Last year, yachting was added to the NZCT AIMS Games programme and was an immediate success, with 64 sailors lining up on Tauranga Harbour.
The tournament has grown every single year since it started in 2004 and last year, the massive numbers included 1164 netballers, 640 rugby players, 644 cross country runners and 768 basketballers.
For more information, contact Tina Bourke at firstname.lastname@example.org or Vicki Semple at email@example.com