Bethany keeping pace in off-road racing scene

ARRAN MORTONSound Telegraph

Bethany Baohm is dispelling the myths that BMX racing is just for boys.

The eight-year-old has been taking the off-road racing scene by storm of late.

Now Bethany is ranked number one in Western Australia for her age group and has aspirations of making it to the Olympics, says mum Carole Smith.

“Bethany wants to go to the Olympics and says she will still be racing when she is an old lady,” Ms Smith said.

“My partner Ben and I are definitely very proud – she’s awesome.”

Bethany took an interest in the popular sport when she was five, after watching as older brother Devon, now 10, went off to Rockingham’s BMX track to train.

Since then the brother and sister racing duo, who both attend Calista Primary School, have travelled the country with their parents competing in various competitions.

The Year 3 student recently placed fifth at the National Championships in Brisbane, just narrowly missing out on a prize.

“She was disappointed because only the top four went though and she was fifth,” Ms Smith said.

“But we just tell them both to do their best – it doesn’t matter if they don’t come first – as long as they are enjoying it.”

The children’s much loved hobby doesn’t come cheap, however, and Ms Smith and partner Ben Baohm have spent thousands on it.

“It’s definitely a huge expense – Bethany has a special custom-made bike with parts flown in from America,” she said. “But Bethany and Devon really love it and it’s great to see them so happy.”

Mum said Bethany has what it takes to make her dream come true and make it to the Olympics one day.

“I definitely think Bethany has what it takes to go all the way,” Ms Smith said.

“There was one time at the track in Kwinana that she won her race but when we got to her, she was crying – she had had a bug in her eye the whole way through the race but hadn’t stopped to get it out.

“Everyone at the club just loves Bethany – she is a rising star.”

Bethany and Devon are part of the Rockingham BMX Club and practice once per week at the club’s track, as well as in their spare time.

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