Whangaparāoa School Year 5 student Dylan Szaszy seems to be taking his upcoming departure for the BMX Racing World Championships in Nantes, France in his stride.
It’s the second time the 10-year-old has represented his country in BMX – at the last worlds, in 2019 in Belgium, he finished 12th out of 76 riders in the 7 Boys (under seven age group).
A year of bad crashes followed, which his mother Nicky says was partly due to Dylan continuing to push himself to do better.
After a full recovery from various fractures and a smashed knee, he qualified for this year’s Worlds at the Nationals held in Hamilton in March.
Fitness is key to fast BMX performance, and Dylan is riding a tack in Albany three times a week, as well as playing soccer, basketball and water polo.
He is building up his training even more as the event takes place at the end of next month.
The Worlds in France will be raced on a purpose-built, indoor 450m track – Dylan will also ride in the cruiser category.
The event attracts some of the biggest names in BMX including Dylan’s favourite Kiwi rider Rico Bearman, who recently won the U23 title.
Dylan says he enjoys the speed and skills involved in BMX, and the challenge of competing – there’s nothing like landing a good jump, he says.
Nicky says the family put a lot into Dylan’s sport and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take him to France to compete, despite the cost.
“For us it’s the whole experience of seeing thousands of riders in action, and the pride of representing NZ,” she says.
The family have a Givealittle page to raise money to help with the costs of getting to France.