Biloela rider takes on world
LAST week, Callide Valley BMX Club member 10-year-old Tama Onekawa travelled with his family to America to compete in the Grand Nationals contest, topping off a hugely successful year for the young rider.
Tama recently won his age group at the State Championships in September and in June he won the World Championships held in Baku, Azerbaijan.
His father, Clint Onekawa, said this week that this was their third trip to America for racing, and they would be spending 12 days in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
He said Tama, who has been competing since he was three years old, loved competition racing and loved to win.
"He trains super hard and leading into a big event he'll train every week morning before school,” Clint said.
"He'll do his bike work three or four times a week after school.
"He can train at the track or we've got a track here at home as well.”
Clint said Tama had dealt with a few falls, breaking his arm two weeks before the Australian titles this year.
He said Tama was good "all round the track”.
"He won't back down, pretty much.
"And while he's still competing and enjoying it, we'll back him 100%.”
Callide Valley BMX Club president Scott Stevens said Tama and other competitors in the club provided great role models for the younger children.
"And they feed off each other and push each other as well.
"It's great to have those kids with that drive there as well.”
Mr Stevens' daughter Abby Stevens, who started riding competitively when she was six, also won the 10-year-old girls category at the State Championships in September.
"She's always been very sport-orientated and very athletic, so it was a natural transition for her to jump on a bike,” Mr Stevens said.
He said this year Abby had also competed locally against the boys.
"She just loves competing - that's what really drives her. It doesn't matter how or who she's racing.
"Initially she had some reservations racing against the boys, but this year she was getting in the top three a lot of the time and nearly taking out some races against them.”