The young Cottam bike rider winning national awards
A young Cottam boy who found his love for bikes when riding with his family along the Guild Wheel is now winning local and national awards for his impressive BMX riding.
With learning difficulties such as dyslexia proving difficult for young Freddie Parkinson at school, riding his bike has been a real lifeline for him since he was a young age.
The 9-year-old, from Cottam, spent his childhood riding his bike around Preston's Guild Wheel before training on his BMX with Preston Pirates and going on to win national awards.
From starting with regional racing, the bike fanatic soon became North of England Region Champion after spending multiple nights a week training.
Now proud mum and teacher Kelly Gill is speaking out about the positive influences of bike riding as a family and is encouraging parents to get their kids cycling.
She said: "He has always loved being on his bike since he was about four years old. We would all go out every week to the Guild Wheel and it was a great way to keep him busy because he had so much energy.
"Once he began to show an interest and training with the local clubs, he pretty quickly became regional and Scottish champion and then went to win the British National Championships in 2019.
"Covid put a stop to all the training and competitions, but he continued to ride with us as a family and it has been such a great influence for him. He has struggled throughout school, but bike riding has really helped.
"Youngsters need to get out on their bikes now the weather is warming up and have a go at cycling or BMX cycling. Freddie is a real bubbly character, the life and soul of the party who just loves what he does and loves to encourage others around him."
The youngster now continues to train up to three nights every week with Preston Pirates BMX club and regularly rides his bike around the entire 25 mile Preston Guild path.
He has recently been chosen to represent team GB at the World BMX Championships based in Holland this Summer and has been asked by the elite race team Prostart FTB to race for them this season, with his first national race taking place this weekend in Kent.
Mum Kelly added: "Freddie struggles with dyslexia and other learning difficulties at school and this has helped him massively and has encouraged him to aim to be his best and never give up with anything.
"It also helped him and us as a family during the lockdown, as we were able to ride the Guild wheel and stay focused with him which without the cycling would have been very difficult.
"He has made so many friends through his BMX riding and it has been such a positive experience for him, as a family we are so proud."
The nine-year-old will also pedal a whopping 300 miles over the summer holidays in a bid to raise money for Marie Curie, who cared for Kelly's mum when she was unwell.
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