James, Amber to pedal for Victoria at national titles

TWO Warrnambool BMX riders will test their rapidly- improving skills against the best at national championships next year.

Victorian selectors have picked Amber Dowd and James McKinnon to represent the state at the titles in  Shepparton from April 29 to May 4.

Amber will race in the nine-year-old girls’ class,  while James will chase success in the eight-year-old boys’ class.

Two other Warrnambool riders, Johanna Jephcott and Amarli McKenna, are reserves for the state squad.

Should they get to compete, Johanna will be in the 10-year-old girls’ class,  while Amarli will be in the nine-year-old girls’ class.

Warrnambool BMX Club coach Karla Jephcott, Johanna’s mother, said the selections recognised the four riders’ passion for BMX riding.

“They’re all very dedicated to the sport,” she said.

“They all train hard, they’re all very well-mannered kids, they have a love and a passion for what they do.

“That’s the best way to sum them up. It just proves where they’re situated. Johanna lives and breathes the sport and so do these other kids.

“The best thing with BMX is yes, it can be a competitive sport but at the same time it’s a big confidence booster for them.

“At the end of the day, they’ve achieved something in themselves. I ride myself amongst other adults and it’s hard work on some of those tracks.”

Jephcott said the construction of the new BMX track at Jetty Flat had sped up the development of the club’s juniors.

“It’s definitely an upgrade from what we had. And we’ve probably got one of the longest tracks in the area, so they’re getting better long-distance training,” she said.

“The majority of the kids selected are the ones that do a lot of travelling to Melbourne.”

afawkes@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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