Salvador Cronje is six and has been racing BMX for two years. Salvador recently attended his first World BMX Racing Championship in Rotterdam as the youngest South African to participate. Inspired by these little racers we asked him a few questions to find out a little more about him.
1. When did you become interested in BMX Racing? How old were you?
- I started riding a 12 inch BMX with no training wheels just before I turned 4. At the age of 4 my dad bought me a 20 inch GT and I started racing. My first race day was at Germiston BMX Track.
2. What have been your biggest milestones?
- I like it when I can beat riders that are older than me.
3. Who is your coach? What do you like about them?
- Wayne Gerber is my coach. If you make a mistake, he doesn’t shout at you and he teaches you the right way to ride BMX. He doesn’t like it when riders cry.
4. How important is BMX Racing in your life? Why?
- I love racing BMX and it makes me happy because it is fun.
5. What have been your major achievements in BMX?
- Getting Grand National number 1 at the age of 5 and also riding at the BMX World champs. Also getting Gauteng colours was cool.
6. What have been your proudest moments?
- I like giving my medals away to riders who don’t make the podium. This make my mom and dad very proud and it also makes me proud because I am been a good sportsman.
7. Have you had any serious injuries?
- Only cuts and bruises. Lots of them!
8. How much time did you spend practicing in the weeks leading up to worlds? What was your schedule?
- I trained for 3 months with Coach Wayne. I would practice on Tuesday and Thursday nights and sometimes on Saturday afternoons. Each training session would be 1-2 hours.
9. What was it like going down the World Championship start hill for the first time?
- A little bit nervous but also exciting. The stadium was big with a lot of people and loud music.
10. Were you nervous at all during the event?
- I was not nervous at all after the first lap.
11. Were you disappointed with how you did?
- A little bit but I had bad luck and I did my best that I can.
12. Who are your BMX heroes and what do you admire most about them?
- My BMX heroes are Ev-Man Fouche in SA. I like him because he is my friend and he looks like he is riding a motorbike when he rails berms. My other BMX hero is Dane Morales from the USA and he has 3 world numbers at the age of
13. Did you get to meet any of your BMX heroes?
- I got to meet Dane Morales from the USA. He was World 1 at the age of 6 and 7 years old and he is also the US Motocross champion. He got a World 7 this year and I got to meet him and take some photos with him.
14. Do you plan on attending any future world championships?
- I want to go to Belgium next year but my dad says I need to work hard and then we will go next year.
15. What would you like to accomplish in the future?
- I want a World Number and I want to win the SA Champs this year.
16. What role do your parents play? Have they always been supportive of your sports activities
- My mom and dad support me and tell me as long as I am having fun, that is all that matters. My sister loves the track and rides Strider bike. I think she will also start racing soon.
17. What words of advice or encouragement do you have to share with other young athletes?
- Start pedaling and don’t be scared of the track. I will help coach you and you will have lots of fun.
View this photo set on Flickr