The Sportscover Clubbies Awards, which showcases the best of community-based sports, asked one highflyer about his early experiences at the grassroots...BMX legend Luke Madill.
Among Madill’s first memories are three older brothers pushing him around; not bullying but mentoring a future 12-time national champion.
The Olympian took up the challenging sport at the tender age of three when his appetite for competition was bigger than his legs.
“The first couple of races I pretty much had to get pushed around the track by my brothers,” the 38-year-old said.
“I had a little 12 inch bike and obviously it was pretty hard for me to pedal it around some of the jumps in the track.”
By five he had attended his first Australian Championships. But it was at Penrith BMX Club – “just a few minutes down the road” from the family property – the now national coach discovered a welcoming environment that fuelled a life-long passion.
“If the kids aren’t having fun and see some enjoyment in it they lose interest straight away,” he said.
“For me (the interest) was a combination - the excitement of the race itself, and obviously I became great good at it so it gave me definitely that hunger to perform and win more. And I guess over the time you just trying to better yourself every year and chase those titles. So that led to half of my life doing it.
“Penrith BMX Club was one of the bigger clubs in NSW. And it did have back then, some of the stronger professional riders in the early days so there was definitely some good mentors and some good support riders to ride with – it definitely helped with my development.”