'A real chance': Siblings take BMX skills to world stage
Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air
A brother-sister duo from Tauranga are taking their BMX talents to the world stage.
Hannah, 16, and Daniel, 14, Mason [Te Arawa, Ngai Tahu] are representing Aotearoa at the UCI BMX World Championships in Scotland starting today.
They have achieved titles at regional and national levels, however, this is their first time representing Aotearoa at a world championship.
Hannah was “over the moon” when she received the news that she had qualified.
”I think it’s cool that we both [come] from the same family,’' she said before the championships.
“[I’m] pretty confident. I have been training a lot, so I feel quite prepared for it.”
Their journey started nine years ago at the Tauranga BMX Club where the pair took an instant liking to the sport.
Amidst the hustle and bustle of their teenage schedules, Hannah and Daniel have taken on a rigorous training schedule for the past 12 weeks to prepare for the competition. Their regime includes gym, sprint, and track training. They also train with former BMX Olympian, Kurt Pickard, at their home track in Tauranga.
Despite previously qualifying for the competition, Hannah said the pair “never really considered going”.
However, Daniel feels confident leading up to the competition. ”I feel like I have a real chance.”
Winter training has presented its own challenges.
”Everyone overseas has gone into summer,” said Hannah. ”Over here in New Zealand, we’re riding in the rain, which definitely has disadvantages because it wrecks the track.”
The pair are both actively involved in their BMX club and mentor junior members. Daniel describes the “full circle” experience of giving back to his club.
”It’s kind of cool to see little kids joining in with BMX and people wanting to ride.”
BMX is a family affair, with Hannah and Daniel’s parents also involved on the administration front.
”I guess we’re behind the scenes, helping to support, grow and develop,” said father Manawa Mason.
Both parents said it was a “very proud whānau moment”.
”This is just representing who they are as [people]. We’re hoping they can go away and do their whānau, the club and obviously the nation proud.”
At this year’s National Championship, Hannah placed 2nd for the 16-year-old girls, while Daniel currently ranks 5th for the 14-year-old boys.
Both siblings hope to qualify for finals in their respective age groups. Thousands of riders will compete across 13 cycling disciplines in Glasgow until August 13.
Hero Image: Manawa and Janine Fox-Mason with their children Hannah and Daniel Mason. Photo / Supplied