<strong>WHO AM I?</strong>
BMX is my life and I've been riding and racing since I was very young.
Growing up in south London is tough and it could be so easy to feel that as a young person one's horizons are very limited. But being involved with the BMX Club at Peckham gave me so much to strive for.
It made me believe in myself and my ability. It also taught me how to share and to work in a team, competing, but also always wanting the best for the other riders too.
The discipline of the sport has helped me achieve more at school because you need to be dedicated, not give up if you have set-backs and always push yourself that bit further.
Top 5 achievements
- U16 boys world champion (2012)
- 2 x National champion
- 3 x British champion
- 3rd at European Series in Belgium
- 4th at European Series in France
WHAT INSPIRES ME?
I feel I am looked up to as a role model for kids in my local community, inspiring them and other riders, and I dream of helping other young people find their way in life, both within the wider community and within sport itself.
BMX racing is a sport accessible to so many, wherever you live or what opportunities you may feel aren't there for you. It is something that can appeal to youngsters without much vision of the future who may lack confidence.
It is a family sport and riders range from 4-year-olds to adults, girls and boys. I am honoured to be an ambassador for the Sky brand, promoting the development of sport within the community and helping to put BMX on the map and helping to change the stereotypical negative image that people have of kids on their BMX.
Having Darren Campbell as my mentor has meant a great deal to me. He's a calm and supportive character with so many ways to help. I know I can always talk to him anytime of the day for any reason.
I've learnt a lot by the way he deals with things and especially how natural and confident he is in front of the camera. For a man of his calibre to be only a phone call away is crazy if you ask me!
HOW HAS BEING A SCHOLAR HELPED?
Being a Scholar has had so many benefits. I moved to Manchester to be part of the British BMX programme based at the Velodrome where I've been able to focus purely on training and recovery. The support I have is unbelievable.
I have a strength and conditioning coach, a masseuse and physiotherapist which all helps recovery so that I can be the best I can on the track. With my two recent career threatening injuries this additional support has played a massive role in my rehab process.
The support is something I could have only dreamt of, giving me once in a lifetime opportunities. Having the backing of such a huge company has really helped boost my confidence.
I have also attended two media sessions which have been very insightful and helpful. I feel much more confident and the media techniques I've learned are constantly rehearsed before I go in front of a camera, which allows me to portray my natural personality. This was something I used to struggled with.
I was recently asked to give a speech at a Primary school's Sports Award presentation evening. My second media session had been arranged for just before the presentation so I was able to plan the speech and I was able to deliver it without looking at my notes. I received really positive feedback - the school even said I had been the best speaker they had in six years!
The funding has also been great. My BMX equipment is the best money can buy. A set of wheels cost me £600 plus another £500 for ceramic bearings inside the hubs and bottom bracket. These give me the edge by allowing the bike to roll with less resistance.
Since I've been living on my own in Manchester being able to comfortably support myself, which takes all the worries away and mean I can fully focus on training. Before I moved to Manchester the support was also a weight off my mum's shoulders. I was able to contribute to the food shop and also things like travelling to races.
Another benefit is what Sky has been able to do to my image. I recently featured in a Sky Academy advert and this was amazing. It reached out to so many people and I received huge support from among the BMX community.
My sport is being promoted on a huge scale and this is fantastic and I'm grateful for this opportunity to be the face of it.