Little Callaghan gears up for British balance bike race

IN THE SADDLE Callaghan White is getting ready for the Strider bike competition. Picture: Paul Jacobs  (131469-1)

IN THE SADDLE Callaghan White is getting ready for the Strider bike competition. Picture: Paul Jacobs (131469-1)

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GLIDING along on his tiny bike, little Callaghan White is in training for the biggest ride of his life.

At just three years old, Callaghan, from Portchester, is hoping to qualify for the British Balance Bike Championships at their second qualifying event in two weeks time.

The event is run by Strider and is held in Gosport on Sunday, June 16. Over 80 children ranging from 18 months to five years old will compete on the balance bikes, which are like normal bikes without pedals.

Children scoot along and then glide, which teaches them balance and it gets them riding on two wheels, making it easier to progress to a standard bicycle at a later stage.

Mum Samantha said: ‘At the last club race Callaghan won four out of four races. My husband says I get a bit of competive mum syndrome when I am cheering from the sides, but it’s great, he really loves it.’

Samantha said Callaghan had been inspired to get on to two wheels by her step-dad Alan Sandell, from Selsey.

Samantha said: ‘My step-dad is really into biking and he goes out most days and Callaghan really looks up to him.’

Callaghan, who wants to either be a racing bike rider or a rugby player when he grows up, said: ‘Racing on the big track is good. There are big hills and I go really fast. I am the winner when I cross the finish line and cheer.’

One of the most important factors to Callaghan was the colour of his bike, which he picked in his favourite colour, red.

But it’s not all about winning for the youngster.

He added: ‘I race with all my friends and we are all winners.’

If Callaghan gets through this round, he will represent Great Britain in the Strider World Championships in Florida, held in October, which is the highest honour in balance bike riding on the planet.

There are still a few places open for riders to join the event in Gosport.

Melanie Thomas, organiser, said: ‘The events are open to anyone, no matter their ability, with opportunities to train and ride at organised coaching sessions before the big day.

‘They are designed to be exciting, yet safe, environments for children to explore and play, with the added excitement of racing.’

The Strider British Balance Bike Championships will be held at Gosport BMX on Sunday, June 16.

To register for the event and find out more, visit www.stridercup.org

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