Kiwi keen to jump with the world's best

19:13, Jan 21 2013
Jaden Leeming
UP AND OVER: Red Bull’s youngest sponsored athlete, 19-year-old BMX rider Jaden Leeming, gets familiar with the world-class jumps at Queenstown’s Gorge Rd Jump Park in preparation for the second Red Bull Roast It, to be held at the jump park in March.

A rising star on the international BMX circuit, and Red Bull's youngest sponsored athlete, made the most of his Queenstown holiday by prepping for the upcoming Roast It competition.

The Red Bull Roast It is New Zealand's largest BMX competition, now in its second year, and will be attended by some of the biggest names in international BMX on March 2.

Although Jaden Leeming, 19, is a professional BMX rider, he sees no separation between work and play - and was happy to spend his Queenstown holiday working.

"A holiday for me means riding as much as I can, but if you're really passionate about something there's no real separation between work and leisure time," he said.

Jaden, of Auckland, got the chance to ride with top American BMX riders on a sponsored trip last year, and is confident the faith shown in him by Red Bull will pay off.

"Riding with some of the people you've seen in magazines and videos and really looked up to was amazing, and provided a real inspiration to come back here and do bigger and better things," he said.

Jaden attended last year's Roast It, but due to a twisted ankle, was limited to the sidelines. However, this year he will be in the thick of the action.

"There's nothing like the Gorge Road Jump Park in New Zealand, or even the world really, and because it's in Queenstown a lot of the top international riders are really keen to get here."

Gorge Road Jump Park builder and long-time Queenstown Mountain Bike Club member Nathan Greenwood said hosting the Roast It was a tribute and validation of the thousands of hours volunteers had put into building a world-class venue.


The Southland Times