MAKING WAVES: Isidore (number three) in high-flying action
JUST OFF of Old Kent Road in Peckham, south east London, lies an unassuming BMX track where you would not expect some of the best riders in Britain to be produced.
But the Peckham BMX Club has a roster of nine national champions, nine British champions and two of their riders are a part of the Olympic set-up and could feature in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Some of the racers are currently competing in the World Championships at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham.
Trained by former Choice FM DJ CK Flash, who is an ex-BMX competitor himself, the racers are having a positive effect on an area that has long had a bad reputation.
Flash, real name Michael Blake, told the Voice of Sport: “I had a bike stolen, and it doesn’t happen very often. I told one person and the boy who stole it got so many calls that he brought the bike straight away. It’s good that I can put something into this community.”
BMX made its Olympic debut at the 2008 Beijing Games and Britain’s highest profile racer is multiple world champion Shanaze Reade.
Teenagers Tre Whyte, 18, and Quillan Isidore, 15, began at the Peckham BMX Club and are part of the Olympic developmental squad and the Olympic talent team respectively.
And while Isidore and Whyte are making waves internationally, 12-year-olds Katurah Davidson and Blaine Davis are dominating proceedings in the UK.
OLYMPIC AMBITIONS: Whyte
The youngsters, who have been racing for five years, are encouraging others to participate in the sport.
“It’s really fun. It’s a unique sport and not many people do it,” said Blaine, who has won national and British honours and is ranked eighth in the world.
“You meet friends from all around the world and you get to win trophies. If you win you just feel really good,” added national and British champion Katurah.
The club are due to relocate to a new, full-sized track in nearby Burgess Park that is set to be unveiled later on in the year.
At the moment, every Saturday dozens of youngsters turn up to train at the track which is only a fraction of the size of a proper BMX track but, as Flash explains, they persevere regardless.
“Even though the track here is only a quarter of the size of what they race on it might be small but it’s very tight, very technical and gets the job done,” said Flash.
The achievements of the club has garnered the attention of film company Jet Set, who are making the club the subject of a non-profit 3D feature film documentary.
“I think any of these extra-curricular activities like this that draw attention from the streets are absolutely paramount. It’s brilliant,” added the film’s co-producer Charmain Falode.
If you are interested in joining the Peckham BMX Club please phone 07947920061 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Training takes place every Saturday at 11am to 1pm at Bird In the Bush Park on Commercial Way. All are welcome.