A SIX-YEAR-OLD from Hambrook is now a national champion after winning the gold medal in the Strider British Balance Bike Championship.
Jack Doherty, who turned six last week, emulated his cycling heroes earlier this month and rode his way to victory – proving he was the fastest five-year-old on two wheels in the UK.
And it was a good day all round for the Doherty family – Jack’s two-year-old sister Phoebe came fourth in her Strider race.
Strider bikes are the same as bicycles, but with no pedals. They were created to encourage children to learn to balance before learning to ride a bike.
The whole family went down to support Jack and Phoebe at the BMX track in Manchester for the race on Sunday, September 22.
“It was such an amazing day and we still can’t believe Jack has been crowned a British champion – we’re so proud of him,” said Jack’s mum Faye.
“In fact proud isn’t even the word – times ‘proud’ by one million.
“I couldn’t believe it when I saw him coming down the straight, he just seemed to be miles ahead, he was so confident.”
Having qualified out of 1,000 Striders to be part of the finals, Jack emerged as the winner of the 2013 Strider British Balance Bike Championships in his age group.
Children from 18 months up to five years can get involved in Strider racing – and as Jack celebrated his sixth birthday this week, he is now retired from the sport.
Mum Faye said her husband saw a Strider online, and they had to have it shipped over from America, as it had not yet taken off in the UK... and the rest was history.
Jack has been riding his Strider since he was 18 months old, but his mum Faye said he had also been riding bikes from the age of three.
“He’s loved his balance bike, but is now keen to make his mark on a bike with pedals – the Strider championship races have been really great to inspire him to take up riding BMX and we hope he continues to enjoy it for many years to come,” she said.
When he went back to school on Monday, Jack took his trophy into his school, Southbourne Infant School, and told the other students in assembly about his national win.