A world championships wake-up call is behind Maiden Gully BMX star Matthew White’s climb to the top of his sport.
The 14-year-old credits a disappointing performance at the 2011 world champs in Copenhagen for stoking his competitive fire.
Since then, White has put in countless hours on the track and in the gym, and the rewards include two national titles and a start in last year’s world championship final in Birmingham.
“I was fourth last year in Birmingham. I didn’t do very good at all in Copenhagen. I didn’t put in the effort I should have and I didn’t get any good results,” White said.
“For Birmingham I trained really hard, I didn’t want it to happen again.”
The Crusoe College student’s change of attitude continues to earn success.
He recently won back-to-back Victorian Junior Rider of the Year awards and is on track to win the BMX Australia National Champbikx Series.
“Its seven rounds with all the best Australian riders. If you come top-two you are chosen to be in the National Athlete Development Program.
“I’m leading it, so I should make it through. We’ve had five rounds, I’ve won four of them and got second in the other one.”
Long-term, White’s sights are firmly set on competing at an Olympic Games, although he’ll be too young to go to Rio in 2016.
More immediate goals include defending his cruiser and 20-inch national titles in eight weeks’ time in Brisbane, followed by the world championships in Auckland.
“I’ve ridden up there once. The track’s pretty big and intimidating, it’s very, very long - it’s a pretty hard track,” White said of the Brisbane circuit.
“I’ve already qualified to go to the world championships because I made a final last year. (A podium place) is what I’m aiming for.”
White was keen to thank his family, as well as Brock Tuckerman, Tony Harvey and Dale Moore for their support in his career, along with his sponsors BK Bicycles, Skullcandy, Goodlife Health Club, ASM Fitness, LKI Clothing, Fire Goggles and Thor.