Story by Emmanuel Phua/Red Sports. Photos by Cheah Wenqi/Red Sports.
Centaurs Sports Park, Saturday, July 15, 2017 – Singapore might have lost Southeast Asia’s only certified Bicycle Motocross (BMX) track — the Tampines Bike Park — in 2014, but through Singapore Cycling Federation’s (SCF) vice-president Hairul Nazwa’s hard work, local BMX riders still have a place to ride at Turf City.
For the Singapore Youth Olympics Festival, Hairul got his hands dirty and painstakingly spent six weeks building the various ramps from scratch to create a mini-track at the back of Centaurs Sports Park at Turf City for riders to hone their BMX skills.
“We use this makeshift park to let riders develop their BMX fundamental techniques so that they can ride safely and better. It would definitely help if we had a proper track, which I hope we can get soon,” said Hairul, who emphasised that a proper training ground will help to grow the BMX cycling scene.
The SCF organised the BMX and Mountain Bicycle (MTB) clinic-cum-race as part of the 2017 Singapore Youth Olympics Festival with the aim of promoting the sport for teenagers aged 16 and below.
A typical BMX race consists of a dirt race course with undulating sections, ramps and banked corners to help riders maintain momentum and speed. The rider who clocks the fastest time will be declared the winner.
“The objective of this event is to raise awareness and get the kids to have a taste of what BMX is all about and in the process, help to be fearless and develop their confidence,” said Hairul Nazwa, SCF’s BMX vice-president.
As BMX riders tackle obstacles along the course which may include waist-high ramps, there is a fear of getting injured but some parents, like Alvin Wong, believe that the sport can build character in their children.
“I used to skateboard when I was younger. As a parent, I believe that you learn when you get hit. By falling, you become better,” said Alvin Wong, whose son, Ethan Wong, participated in the races for the first time and placed third in the 9-10 years old BMX category.
For the competitors themselves, the sport helps them create an environment where they can overcome their fears and challenges, said 13-year-old Maya Khalid.
“I was very scared when I started but over time, it helps me to do more than what I think I can, to be brave and overcome challenges,” said Maya.
“Some of my friends are so amazed and they think that this sport is so cool.”
BMX (7-8 years old)
1st Chew Zi Qian
2nd Muhd Endy Safiyan
3rd Eva Foo
BMX (9-10 years old)
1st Muhd Elfee
2nd Muhd Izzan Adly
3rd Ethan Wong
BMX (11-12 years old)
1st Iryan Shah
2nd Eden Foo
Mountain Bike (7-8 years old)
1st Ryden Ng
2nd Ricki Kai Oberoi
3rd Lukas Knick
Mountain Bike (9-10 years old)
1st Adrae Adrian
2nd Mikha Zuhayr Norman
3rd Dashiell Chia
Mountain Bike (11-12 years old)
1st Teo Yun Khai
2nd Aqiel Amaley
3rd Riana Oberoi
More photos next page