Olympic silver medal winner Sarah Walker coaches (from
left) Tahlia Hansen, of Rangiora and Shakira Mirfin and
Ruby Laidlaw, of Southland, at Forrester Park yesterday.
Photo by Craig Baxter.
Southern BMX riders have a lot of potential and earn
every success they have, Olympic silver medal winner Sarah
In Dunedin at the weekend to coach southern riders and appear
at the Dunedin BMX open race meeting yesterday, Walker, of
Cambridge, was highly complimentary of the South's young
While not riding due to a healing shoulder injury, she was
happy to impart her knowledge to the region's young female
''The scene up north is so much bigger, so the South
Islanders have a lot more to go through to get where they are
and they do it on their own.
''You know they have earned it to get where they are.''
One of those is Rangiora rider Tahlia Hansen (15), a national
age group champion, who credits Walker with being a ''big
help'' over the years.
''She's given me plenty of tips to improve my riding.''
Walker said she would be doing all she could to help Tahlia
get to the Rio Olympics.
''I'll help her give me a run for my money. As long as New
Zealand gets to send the fastest person possible - of course,
I want it, too.''
Young Southland riders Ruby Laidlaw (10) and Shakira Mirfin
(11) had also shown real improvement.
''With the nationals next month it's exciting to see the
improvements. There is real potential down here,'' Walker
Dunedin BMX Club president Jason Wadsworth said the event had
attracted riders from Canterbury south, who were seeking
qualifying points for the nationals.
With coaching clinics on Saturday and yesterday morning and
cycle skills challenges on offer, in conjunction with Sport
Otago, it was a successful day, he said. Club membership had
more than tripled this year from 20 riders to 70.