Riders from a Shropshire BMX club have followed in the footsteps of their Olympic heroes by bringing home silverware from the British BMX Championships.

The riders from Wrekin Riders BMX Club in Dawley, Telford raced in the biggest race of the year at Leicester Huncote Hornets over the bank holiday weekend.

The riders aged from five years old from the Telford-based club joined more than 1,200 riders in the competition, alongside Olympic gold medallist and World number 1 Bethany Shriever and Olympic silver medallist Kye Whyte. The two Olympic heroes both took their British number 1 titles over the weekend.

From Wrekin Riders, fourteen-year-old Chelsey Barnett who attends Telford Park School, took double British titles after finishing 4th on her Cruiser in the 13-16 age category and British number 6 title on her 20inch BMX race bike.

Chelsey, who was also selected to represent the Midlands in the School Games at Loughborough University this weekend, also collected her third trophy of the weekend after finishing 7th in the HSBC National BMX Series 2021.

Representing the youngest riders in the British Championships – often referred to as the “pocket rockets” – five-year-old Heidi Shedden, who attends St Georges Primary School in Telford, brought home the British number 6 title after racing her first British Championships. Heidi is following in her father Gary’s footsteps who also races BMX, along with her older brother Max, who both raced over the weekend too.

Continuing the success in the girls’ racing, club rider Erin Marsh, 12, from Cookley, near Kidderminster, brought home a British title for the third time in her racing career after proudly securing the 6th position in the main final.

Eddie Smallman, also aged 12, who attends Haberdashers Abraham Darby School in Telford, has returned to the track after breaking his leg last year and took his first British title after securing the 7th place in the main final. He also finished in 8th position in the HSBC National BMX Series.

Meanwhile Steve Smith, 50, from Stourbridge, who gives up his time to assist the club coach, brought home the final British title for the club after battling his way through the semi-final to make the main final where he took 8th place.

Other riders from the voluntary run club who competed at the British Champs included Sophie Kynaston who narrowly missed out on the main final when she got 5th place in the semi-final; Archie Smallman, who raced two bikes in the competition, made it through to ⅛ finals on his 20inch race bike despite suffering a crash; Kelly Thompson in female 17-29 Cruiser; Antoni Porebny who made it to the quarter finals in his first British Championships; Saara Reynolds who raced the 30+ Cruiser and was joined on the track by her two sons Markku and Kasperi, who both made ⅛ finals; Joshua Orr who also made it to quarter finals; Daniel Nayman and Cameron Marsh.

Kieran Edwards, club chairman and coach at the £250,000 national standard floodlight track on Duce Drive, said: “The riders rode exceptionally well during the British BMX Championships despite dealing with nerves and facing the biggest competition of the year after many months off the track due to the pandemic and also some recovering from injury.

“As a club we are so pleased that our riders have been able to race the national and Midlands regional series this year after so long away from competitive racing.

“Some of our riders were due to ride the World BMX Championships in Holland in August but it was cancelled apart from the Elite categories so the British titles and the National series trophies they have brought home have helped put smiles on their faces. Our riders at the Brits were also pleased to congratulate Beth and Kye face to face and see them win their British titles.

“There is no doubt there has been a significant boom in interest in BMX since the Olympics and we are enjoying every second of it.

“We are a voluntary run club and are putting on as many sessions as we can to introduce new riders to the exciting sport of BMX racing.

“There’s not many sports where the riders can start from balance bikes as soon as they are walking and progress and ride alongside their parents and even grandparents in some cases. It really is a sport for everyone.”

Anyone who is interested in trying out BMX racing should message the club’s Facebook page @WrekinRiders

Back L-R Eddie Smallman and Steve Smith

Front L-R Erin Marsh, Heidi Shedden and Chelsey Barnett.

Back Erin Marsh and Chelsey Barnett

Front L-R Steve Smith, Heidi Shedden and Eddie Smallman.