Penticton riders’ skills improve with coaching

Developing skills was the focus for the Penticton BMX Club this season.

PENTICTON BMX CLUB  riders Jeff Babuin (9) and Josh Holland battle it out during the club’s final race.  Twice Holland edged out Babuin just before the finish line.

PENTICTON BMX CLUB riders Jeff Babuin (9) and Josh Holland battle it out during the club’s final race. Twice Holland edged out Babuin just before the finish line.

Developing skills was the focus for the Penticton BMX Club this season.

Jeff Babuin, president of the club, said it was a good year.

Babuin was at the track every Monday working with the keen riders as they readied themselves for the Thursday race day. They had their final race at the Lion’s Club track Oct. 10.

“I saw a lot of improvement,” said Babuin.

That led to the riders having more fun. While a few riders focused on results, the majority hit the track to enjoy the racing with the other members.

“It’s good that the kids focus on skills,” said Babuin. “It makes for better racing. You have more fun when you can do more.”

What Babuin enjoyed most was watching the kids have fun and improve.

Membership wasn’t where the club would like with 35 riders of a variety of ages, but Babuin is optimistic they can build on that for next year.

“It’s a great sport for kids who want to compete individually,” he said.

Nash Bayston, 8, loved that he was able to ride on the track and observe other racers.

“It’s really interesting to get to see how good they are,” said Bayston, who got into the sport because his father encouraged him and his brother used to race.

Bayston said he learned from the other riders and became faster as the season progressed. The only thing he wasn’t crazy about was the track, which he described as hard.

“I don’t like how long it is,” he said. “Near the end, it’s hard to get a breath.”

Allan Jones, 66, enjoyed the season. While he was disappointed that numbers were down, the “fun was right up there.” He mentioned that he liked Babuin’s coaching sessions as it helped the kids, especially when it came to approaching the bumps.

“Without coaching they are stiff on the bumps,” said Jones. “You gain flexibility. That makes them faster everywhere.”

Jones attended the sessions which helped him improve his speed. For Jones, getting on his BMX has nothing to do with results.

“I just want to have fun.”

Club note: Josh Holland traveled to Chilliwack for the Grand Nationals and placed second in the cruiser category. While there, Holland also received his provincial plates for first in cruiser and second in 20”.