“If you really want it, you can definitely do it …” — An interview with Singapore’s BMX riders

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Story by REDintern Noor Farhan. Pictures by REDintern Mai A Malek and Tan Jon Han/Red Sports

Friendship Games BMX Spore Interview

Nasthasia Nadiah strikes a pose before the commencement of the Junior Womens’ BMX 20″ race. The teenager held her nerves to finish third among strong competition from the region. (Photo 1 © Mai/Red Sports)

Three of Singapore’s BMX riders were in action during the inaugural Singapore Mountain Bike Carnival 2010 held at the newly-built Tampines Bike Park.

Despite the unbearable heat and stiff competition, they still managed a good showing at the BMX events in what is a relatively new sport in Singapore.

Red Sports talked to William Chan, a Secondary 5 student at Fairfield Secondary School who is ranked 9th in Asia and 6th in South East Asia for Downhill events; Alvin Phoon, a Secondary 5 student at Mayflower Secondary and Nur Nasthasia Nadiah of ITE College East.

Red Sports: What would you say, is your pet event?

William Chan: For me it would be Downhill and Cross-Country.

Alvin Phoon: I’m into Downhill and Road events.

Nasthasia Nadiah: I would say BMX is my pet event.


Red Sports: So where do you usually train?

William Chan: I do go for overseas training, like in Malaysia. In Singapore I train in Tampines, Kent Ridge and in Bukit Timah.

Alvin Phoon: For Road bike, I train at Changi Coast Road. I also go to Mount Faber as well.

Nasthasia Nadiah: I train in Malaysia, near Putrajaya. I’ll also be going to Perth, Australia for BMX training on June 13. Here, I would usually ride from Bedok to Tampines as well.

Red Sports: Why BMX?

William Chan: For me, I just wanted to try something new. And besides, BMX provides good cross-training for Downhill events.

Alvin Phoon: Well, it is closely related to Downhill.

Nasthasia Nadiah: I started riding when I was a kid. I also became active in BMX and Road. Every Sunday I would come here [to Tampines, before the trail was officially built], and in fact I’ve spent the last two years training.

Red Sports: How’s the BMX scene like in Singapore?

William Chan: I’d say its new, what with the new track giving others an opportunity. In fact, in Japan some of them start very young, like around 12 years old. We have some way to go.

Alvin Phoon: It’s a very new scene. There is like very few official shops selling BMX related stuff.

Nasthasia Nadiah: Over the last two years, there hasn’t been much BMX racing [events], only stunts and so on.

Red Sports: Any advice for budding BMX riders keen on competition?

William Chan: Start young, and don’t be complacent. If you really want it, you can definitely do it.

Alvin Phoon: Don’t forget to do a lot of gym work. For me, I do bench presses to train [the upper body].

Nasthasia Nadiah: Get any normal bike to start with, before you save up to get a proper bike. Also, start getting used to the length of the bike. [That’s] very important.

Red Sports: Any plans for the future?

William Chan: Well, hopefully I’ll get to participate in the World Cup held in Europe.

Alvin Phoon: In June I’ll be going to Australia for training, after which I’ll return to train again in Singapore and Malaysia. In 2013, hopefully I’ll be able to participate in the Asian Games.

Nasthasia Nadiah: I’ll be going to Perth, Australia to train on June 13. As of now I’m studying Sports Management [in ITE]. Hopefully in the future I can be like a “big sister” to those starting out in BMX and give proper advice to them.

We at Red Sports wish them good luck in their future endeavours. All the best, you guys!

Friendship Games BMX Spore Interview

Nasthasia Nadiah (second from left) takes her position at the gates before the start of the final. (Photo 2 © Tan Jon Han/Red Sports)

Friendship Games BMX Spore Interview

Nasthasia Nadiah giving her full concentration during the race … (Photo 3 © Tan Jon Han/Red Sports)

Friendship Games BMX Spore Interview

… and acknowledging the crowd upon receiving her third-place medal. (Photo 4 © Tan Jon Han/Red Sports)

Friendship Games BMX Spore Interview

Singapore’s William Chan in action during his individual time trial. (Photo 5 © Tan Jon Han/Red Sports)

Friendship Games BMX Spore Interview

William Chan is pursued by Vadim Galeyev (Kazakhstan #4) during the semi-final race. (Photo 6 © Tan Jon Han/Red Sports)

Friendship Games BMX Spore Interview

Alvin Phoon (Singapore #10) makes a landing on the table top. (Photo 7 © Tan Jon Han/Red Sports)

Friendship Games BMX Spore Interview

Alvin Phoon negotiating through a rhythm section of the course. (Photo 8 © Tan Jon Han/Red Sports)

Friendship Games BMX Spore Interview

The sole representative for Singapore in the Junior Men’s final reflects after the race. Alvin had a strong run but was beaten to fourth placing by Vadim Galeyev (Kazakhstan #4) at the finish. (Photo 9 © Tan Jon Han/Red Sports)

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