Shiver me timbers! These pirates are on course for world stardom
Youngsters as young as four years old are learning BMX tricks at a national standard track in Fishwick.
Preston Pirates BMX club aims to develop children’s cycling talents through coaching and activities.
The club, at Fishwick Recreation Ground, London Road, was established in 2005 and held its first national event in 2008.
The track is undergoing renovation to bring it up to competitive standards.
Russ Gilston, vice-chairman of the club, says: “We have worked very hard in order to get the fund-raising from sponsors.
“I would describe this club as an up-and-coming one. It is always progressing – a club with a friendly environment and great atmosphere, who welcome anybody to participate.
“We are a club where everyone looks after each other. It’s great to see the big kids helping out the little ones.
“A big kid will pick up a little kid who has fallen over, which is great to see.”
After the gates close on Saturday, the members get the chance to ride around on the track to practise and have fun.
The riders range from beginners to experts, including the world number one rider Ross Cullen.
Russ says: “It is the best club in the country, with quite a lot of riders.
“The riders get the chance to make a lot of new friends, not just from Preston, but from all of the other tracks that compete in the races and when we go around Europe.
“They gain fantastic life skills, because when we do go to other tracks it is up to the riders to sort themselves out with the race numbers and so on. They develop the skills fantastically, while being able to see things that they wouldn’t without it being through this.
“Some of the riders are representing the club this July, which will see them competing in New Zealand, which is an amazing achievement.”
Preston Pirates has around 180 members, and is continuously growing.
Anyone who wants to go along only needs to be able to ride a bike, mainly from the age of four and upwards, with all capabilities welcome with coaches on hand to help.
There are many upcoming events within the next few weeks.
Russ says: “We were at Leeds yesterday, and we have the next regional race in two weeks in Manchester followed by one in Blackpool, and then on August 11 we have the regionals here in Preston, which we are hoping to have tied in with the first big race on the new track.”
The club has many activities to offer, specifically on Saturdays, when the track is open from 10am until 2pm,
Those who aren’t members have the opportunity to pay on the day and are provided with all of the gear, such as protective wear and a bike.
They will also receive help and guidance through everything, as coaches are in place for beginners to learn new skills, and for developing the capabilities the existing members already have.
For more information, visit www.prestonpiratesbmxclub.com