Tadious Manyepo Sports Reporter
OVER 50 BMX novice and expert bicycle riders take to the track for the BMX season-opening Fun-Day race meeting set for Harare BMX Club near Old Georgians Sports Club at Groombridge in Harare this afternoon.
While all eyes will be on national team racers like the industrious Tariq Shelton, Emmanuel Gore, Tawanda Marowa and Andrew Manjira, it will also be the day when Zimbabwe’s motocross sensation Tanya Muzinda’s siblings Alicia (8) and Jayden (5) announce their arrival into BMX racing.
The Tanya-inspired duo are raring to go and they are confident they will make their presence felt at the fiesta ahead of the season, which promises to be exciting with qualification for the UCI BMX World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan, in June in the mind of all the racers.
The pair’s father, Tawanda, who has made headlines due to the success of his daughter Tanya on the motocross circuits, said he is hoping that his children will lay a positive foundation at their maiden contest.
“I am overwhelmed by emotions. I know racing is not very easy and to have three of your children all selecting the sport is something else.
“But, nonetheless, I am very much impressed and inspired by their choice.
“Both of them were inspired by Tanya, but I should point out that they are self-driven.
“They like BMX racing and when they are not doing their school work, they are always practising.
“It is my hope that they both have positive starts to their BMX racing careers.
“I am fully behind them and I wish they will emulate their sister (Tanya), who has broken into the international scene in motocross,” Tawanda “Polycup” Muzinda said.
Harare BMX Club secretary Lana Shelton promised fireworks at this afternoon’s meet and predicted an exciting 2018 season.
She said there will be four races, three of which will be normal races, while the final one will be a relay.
“We are promising a good racing day at Groombridge (today).
“At least 50 racers, both experts and beginners will compete in the Fun-Day event.
“This is an annual event which officially marks the start of the BMX racing season.
A lot of prizes will be won on the day.
“The 2018 season will be very exciting considering that a lot more new racers have come on board and are promising to outdo those who have been in the trenches for some years now.
“We are also appealing to the corporate world to partner us as we move to improve the standards of BMX racing in this country.
“We have had a lot of racers impressing in international events.
Last year, Shelton (Tariq) made it to the semi-finals in the UCI BMX World Championships in the United States.
“We are very hopeful that our racers will perform far much better than they did last year.
“This year’s edition of the UCI BMX World Championships will be held in Baku, Azerbaijan, in June,” she said.
The BMX season has a busy schedule in the first term ending April, with a lot of club racing meets, with the highlight of the term being the inter-provincial championships to be held in Bulawayo in March, which will also serve as the qualifiers for the World Championships jamboree.
BMX racing is a fast-paced, exciting sport open to riders of all ages and abilities.
The Harare BMX Club hold their races on a purpose built, off-road, dirt track with sloping starts to generate speed, banked turns and lots of different sizes and shapes of jumps.
Racing at today’s Fun Day starts at 4pm and entry fee for spectators has been pegged at $5 per car.