How BMX in Norwich is really flying high
- Credit: Archant
It is a sport that is very much flying high.
But after hosting a regional championship in Norwich this weekend, a BMX club is appealing for public support to help a group which provides young and old with a vital community activity really take off.
The East Anglian Championship for the sport - which sees daring riders race round a dirt course with jumps and banked curves at high speeds - was held at Norwich Flyers BMX Club's track in Sloughbottom Park.
More than 160 riders from six teams - Royston, Braintree, Ipswich, Milton Keynes, Peterborough and Norwich - battled it out in several age categories, with people as young as four able to take part and the oldest participant aged 70.
For Dan Harding, chairman of Norwich Flyers - who himself raced in the event - the championships were a demonstration that BMX 'is a proper family sport'.
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He added: 'it's always good at BMX. It's a fun sport with like-minded people who want to ride bikes and have fun.
'You've got half the family here - the dads will be racing alongside the kids and grandparents will come out too.
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'It's a tough discipline. The riders are unbelievably fit and they will be in the gym training just to stay strong enough to sprint.
'But it's not all about being fit. They have got to practise and practise. Guts are needed to jump those big jumps.'
However he said the location of the track, which has been open since 2005, at the far end of Sloughbottom Park means 'we're a bit unknown'.
He added: 'The track can't be seen unless you come into the park. Unless you come in, you'll never know it's there.'
Mr Harding said financing the club can be a struggle and urged people in the community to support it as much as possible to ensure it keeps going - by joining, donating funds and volunteering as marshalls.
Any money raised is put back into promoting the club or maintaining the track, which is open all year round and used for summer club days on Saturdays - from 12.30pm to 3pm - and Wednesdays, between 6pm and 8pm.
In winter, the club meets on Saturdays from 1pm until dusk.
For more information or to support the club, email Mr Harding at email@example.com