A winning feeling

During the week he is a mild-mannered student from Eaglehawk North Primary School but on the weekends nine-year-old Liam Andrews simply flies.

Liam has been motocross racing since he was four and last month he capped a series of impressive performances by winning the Victorian Junior Motocross Championships.

Competing against riders aged between nine and 12 years, Liam won the championship after four gruelling rounds on his KTM 65cc and KTM 85cc motorbikes.

The championships started in April at Ballarat and travelled to Broadford in May, Outtrim in June and finished in the Goulburn Valley last month.

Liam said he was excited about his win and is looking forward to further challenges such as the 2012 Australian Junior Motocross Championships which will be held in Queensland later in the year.

But Liam has to put in the hard yards in order to do well, practising four times a week.

“I’d like to be a professional motocross rider when I grow up and ride in America one day,” he said.

Liam’s mother, Terry Andrews, says she and her husband Craig are very proud of their son.

“He’s got a lot of talent, a very good riding style. He could easily be the best in the world and my husband Craig wants to take him over to America at some point,” Mrs Andrews said.

Apart from being a winner Mrs Andrews said that Liam was genuinely a good sport.

“He handles himself well. He doesn’t brag and he’s the first one to help someone if they are hurt,” she said.

“And whenever he wins an event he always remembers to thank his mum and dad.”

While motocross racing is a great way for young people to keep fit and socialise with their families and peers, it is not without its dangers.

Liam was thrown off his bike last weekend after a stack with another bike, but after a check-up at the hospital he was given the all clear.

Mrs Andrews said she worried about him getting hurt but was reassured by the safety equipment Liam wore.

“He wears about $2500 worth of safety gear. He’s has a knee brace, a neck brace, elbow guards, a kidney belt and full body armor. I think he will be OK,” she said.

One of the reasons for Liam’s success may well lie with his father, Craig Andrews, who as a young boy won 11 junior Australian titles in Australian Junior Motocross Championships.

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