Brodie Ritter practices some tricks at Taree skate park. He’ll contest a round of the world freestyle BMX series in Croatia next month.
Freestyle BMXrider Brodie Ritter from Taree Heads will travelto Croatia in July to take on the world for the first time.
The 17-year-old will contest the FISE world series on July 21 as a member of rider/manager Rhy Kember’s Unchained BMX team.
He’ll enjoy a busy time in Europe, competing in the Lords of the Dirt in France and the ProFreestyle Games in The Netherlands along with other national championships.
Before heading home Brodie will enter the last round of the world series in China.
“This will be the first time I’ve been overseas – it’s a bit scary,’’ Ritter admitted this week while training at the Taree skate park.He’s at the park every day honing his skills.
Kember, 28, is rated as one of Australia’s best freestyle BMX riders and has been riding professionally around the world for the past four years. As his coach and mentor, he has no doubt that Ritter has the talent to make it.
“I’ll be using a few of my contacts overseas to hopefully get Brodie some contracts with major sponsors,’’ he said.
“Then he can go on and realise his potential.’’
Next year Kember expects Ritter will contest all rounds on the world series that includes events in Canada and the US.Ritter started riding with the Manning BMX Club when he was four. He eventually progressed to freestyle riding while practising at the Taree skate park.
However he’s still relatively inexperienced in competition although he has won the King of the Krater held at Tuncurry for the past three years.
Kember first saw him in action in a competition at Morriset and identified his talent from the start.
“He made himself discoverable,’’ Kember said.
Until he met Kember, Ritter was largely self taught. Kember believes it is his job now to fine tune Ritter’s talent.
Ritter initially thought he’d be competing in under 18 events while overseas. This may still be the case, however, Kember isn’t so sure.
“If you get thrown into the deep end of the pool you have to swim,’’ he reasons.
“Brodie needs to push himself and there’s no better way of doing that than riding against the best in the world. – it’ll be better for his development.’’
Freestyle riding isn’t all about flying high. There are some rough landings. Kember is currently on crutches as he recovers from a broken heel. He expects to be right for the world series although it could be a close call.
Ritter has broken a collarbone, ribs and sustained plenty of bumps and bruises. But he says it’s part of the game.
The chance to compete on the world stage is worth the risk, he said.