Liverpool rider chosen to take part in prestigious BMX program

SWSAS BMX Riders Ready for 2021. Picture: Supplied
SWSAS BMX Riders Ready for 2021. Picture: Supplied

Twelve riders from across the south west have been chosen to take part in the prestigious South West Sydney Academy of Sport (SWSAS) 2020-2021 BMX program.

And one of them is from Liverpool.

Liverpool's Clay Johnson has been selected to ride in the 2020-2021 South West Sydney Academy of Sport BMX Squad.

He is the only athlete from the region which includes Camdens Jack Young, Bianca Moubarak, Ethan Moubarak, Kayden Murphy, Jayden Morris, Rory Southwell, Haylee Morris and Isaac Robinson, along with Campbelltown's Violet Dutko. Wollondilly's Ireland Gerhard and Mackenzie Hadley.

Seven athletes will return for another year while five new athletes have joined the program under the watchful eye of head coach Cara Wilde.

Recently graduated St Helens Park athlete Jye Furner will continue with the Academy, having accepted the position of Apprentice Coach.

Furner is the first former squad athlete to return in a coaching capacity within the SWSAS BMX program.

"I joined the program about four years ago as an independent athlete, then we formed a team of about eight to ten riders," the 17-year-old said.

"I am looking forward to coming back in a mentor role.

"It's pretty cool because I will get to teach and learn, I also know most of the riders so it'll be a bit different coaching my friends but it will be good at the same time."

Furner said it was great to see so many local riders on the squad.

"It's great because there are a lot of kids who ride bikes in Macarthur and there is a big group of them in the Macarthur BMX Club," he said.

"It's a really great sport.

Camden's Kayden Murphy leaps through the air. Picture: Supplied

Camden's Kayden Murphy leaps through the air. Picture: Supplied

"I have been racing for about ten years now and I love it because of all the places I have been and all the people I have met.

"My best advice to people who are just starting out is to have fun - just enjoy being on your bike."

Along with the BMX riders, the South West Sydney Academy of Sport welcomes incoming Assistant Coaches Daniel Morris and Simon Dutkos to the coaching ranks.

Morris is a BMX champion himself and is familiar with the Regional Academy programs having been a past member of the Northern Inland Academy of Sport (NIAS).

Dutkos comes into the program as a highly-respected coach within the Macarthur BMX community.

Squad Managers Anne-Marie Moubarak and Fred Furner round out the highly credentialed coach and support staff, both also returning for another year.

Furner said he was looking forward to learning more about coaching BMX squads.

"I am only in my third year of coaching so I am still pretty new," he said.

"I am looking forward to learning new things and growing as a coach."

The BMX squad is already looking forward to a solid 2021 program, and the use of not only the new world-class, Camden-based BMX track, but a chance to ride a new Wollondilly-based BMX track in the not too distant future.

The squad will attend an Academy Induction event in early December before commencing their on-track skills and sports education program throughout the next year.