Teenage BMX ace Cameron Reid is glad Scotland are on track in time for the new cycle

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CAMERON REID is still a teenager but old enough to know that the latest generation of BMX wannabes have never been so good.

The 19-year-old is taking part in the UCI BMX Racing World Cup in Glasgow this weekend, part of an elite cast of Olympic champions and other renowned riders from around the world eager to show off their skills to a grateful Scottish crowd.

This is the first international BMX event to take place in the town since the 2018 European Championships, another chance to use the £4million facility built in Knightswood for that event and now used regularly by clubs such as Western Titans, Glasgow Riderz and Movement Park. as schools and community groups.

It completes the track opened in 2014 in Cumbernauld, Reid’s hometown, in the shadow of Broadwood Stadium. This remains the home ground of the University of Stirling student, and where he honed the skills that led to him becoming a multiple Scottish and British junior champion.

Reid, however, had been cycling long before it opened and can still remember the elementary school days when the facilities weren’t always so pristine or welcoming.

“The BMX scene kind of quieted down for a while after the boom of the 1980s, but with the introduction of the Knightswood and Cumbernauld tracks it started up again,” he explains.

“The Cumbernauld track is only 10 minutes from my house which has been a great addition and has made a real difference for me and others in this area.

“Previously, we only had an old dirt track from the 1980s to practice on, not far from the current facility. So going from training on that at the start to the Manchester indoor track was pretty daunting.

“But for today’s kids it must be great to have such good facilities on our doorstep as they seek to progress. The youngest now have it easy!

“I’ve just finished my first year of sports science at Stirling so now I have the whole summer to train and race which is great. My long term plan is to go and do a Masters in Physiotherapy as that is the career path I would like to follow but I am really focusing on my cycling at the moment.

Scottish Cycling saw Reid’s potential from an early age, making him the first BMX rider to be supported through the performance development programme. He is grateful for this support and also thanks his father, Raymond, for being the main driving force behind his rise to the top.

“It was a school friend who introduced me to BMX when I was about seven years old,” he recalls. “He had a spare bike and asked me if I wanted to come try it out and we both ended up joining a club called the Cumbernauld Centurions. He ended up quitting after a week but I’m still going strong.

“The club wasn’t much and was based on the old track, but my dad took over as chairman for about seven years and ended up helping build the track at Cumbernauld.

“My dad left his position as president a few years ago, but he’s still riding great in the 50+ classes. So he’s just enjoying the bike now instead of having to do all the other administrative stuff.

“It was great to take walks with him when I was younger, although from the age of around 12 I was able to beat him and he didn’t really like it!”

BMX is not part of the Commonwealth Games but will take its place in the first-ever World Combined Cycling Championships to be held across Scotland next year.

“I hope to do well enough this year in the Under-23 events to try to be selected for the world championships next year, especially since I will be at home again. That’s my goal for the next 12 months.

It’s Reid’s first season at the senior level and, for good reason, he doesn’t have huge expectations ahead of this weekend’s World Cup in a field that includes Tokyo Olympic medalists Beth Shriever and Kye. Whyte. Just competing, rather than watching, is privilege enough.

“I’m really excited to compete, especially in front of a local audience,” he adds. “It’s great to have such a prestigious event in Glasgow for once. Being able to ride it instead of watching it on TV from my bed or living room will be a nice change. It’s quite surreal to be in competition.

“It’s my first World Cup so I’m not leaving with a specific result in mind. But I’ve had quite a bit of practice both myself and with Team GB, so hopefully I can get through a good number of races and have a productive weekend.

Tickets for both days remain on sale through Ticketmaster, priced at £15 for adults and £10 for children.


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