Shanaze Reade backs young BMX cyclists who prepare to take to Cyclopark in Gravesend

PUBLISHED: 09:35 18 July 2013 | UPDATED: 09:35 18 July 2013

Shanaze Reade. Pic by Bob Collier/PA

Shanaze Reade. Pic by Bob Collier/PA

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Britiain's top Olympic BMX cyclist Shanaze Reade has backed young riders taking part in the first ever Strider British Balance Bike Championships in Gravesend's Cyclopark as young Olympians in the making.

More than 70 pint-sized riders aged between 18 months and 5 years-old are registered to ride in Kent’s first ever major toddler balance bike race all hoping to become a British Champion themselves.

She said: “Balance bikes are a great way to get toddlers and young children riding at a younger age than ever before. You just have to see their faces when they’re on their balance bikes zooming around and you know they love it. It is these early experiences that will set them up for a lifetime of fun and exercise.

“These events not only give children the chance to ride over some of UK’s biggest and best BMX tracks, but also race against some of their friends. There really is no other way for toddlers as young as 18 months old to get the experience of riding at a major event. It’s an amazing opportunity.

“I would have loved the chance to ride at an event like this when I was a toddler – these are the experiences that inspire children to get into a sport. You never know, some of the children riding at this year’s championships could be our world or Olympic BMX champions of the future.”

The competition takes place on Sunday (July 21). For more information visit

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