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Bradford Bandits could provide the road to Rio
Bradford Bandits are making a name for themselves in the world of BMX racing as membership of the Peel Park club continues to soar.
The sport is fast growing in popularity, boosted by the inclusion of BMX in the Olympics for the first time at the 2008 Games in Beijing.
The Bandits currently have more than 100 riders on their books, ranging from five to 60 years old, and boast a number of rising stars in their ranks.
Up-and-coming rider Emily Brannan is third in the national rankings and her brother Arran is eighth, while fellow Bandits Michael Cummins and Sophie Thewlis were selected to represent the north of England.
The club was formed ten years ago by a group of dedicated volunteers who wanted to provide a place for youngsters in the area to race their bikes.
Every Tuesday evening they open the gates to their purpose-built track in Peel Park where, for a charge of £2.50, riders can borrow a bike, helmet and gloves and ride the track for two hours, and under floodlights during the winter months.
On Thursday nights, the club run a session coached by former British champion Martin Ogden.
Parent and volunteer Dino Grice said the club are constantly looking for new members and offered the potential for aspiring riders to represent the sport at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
He added: “The club offers something for everyone - race night every three weeks and weekly time trials.
“But most of all, the club offers every rider the chance to improve their cycling technique in a safe and friendly environment.
“This is all down to the hard work of a dedicated group of volunteers. Costs to parents are kept low at just £2.50 a session.
“In these days when we are all trying to find ways to save money and still keep active, we are privileged to have a club so well resourced and funded right on our own patch.
“People can come along and get out and active in 2013. Who knows where it might lead - Rio 2016?”
For more information go to www.bradfordbmxbandits.org.uk