BMX, or Bicycle Motocross, is one of Australia's fastest growing sports. Originating in California in the late 1960s, BMX is derived from the traditional motocross sport. Motocross grew in prominence throughout the 1960s and around the same time, smaller bicycles became available. These smaller bicycles consequently proved ideal for BMX sports and people began racing them on traditional motocross tracks. From here, BMX sports grew in popularity, and by 1974, the National Bicycle League was formed in America. It was the first organisation to formally sanction BMX racing and freestyle BMX.
As the sport became more widely supported, organisations dedicated to BMX racing formed, and in 1982, the first BMX world championships were held. Since then, the sport has continued to grow in popularity, becoming an official Olympic Sport in 2003, with the first Olympic BMX race being held at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
There are now countless BMX competitions and championships held each year around the world, and with the second largest BMX industry in the world, Australia has produced some elite competitors. Two such competitors include Caroline Buchanan and Sam Willoughby (pictured left) who in 2013 and 2014 respectively, won the male and female categories of the UCI BMX World Championships, the globe's premier BMX competition. Both athletes have also represented Australia at the Olympic Games.
With frequent competitions throughout Australia, there are many opportunities for aspiring BMX riders to test themselves and improve their skills. This includes riders in the Northern Territory, as proven by renowned Territory-born rider Matthew Juster (pictured right). Juster is a five time Northern Territory Champion, three time Australian Plate holder, was ranked nineteenth in the world at the 2013 World Championships, and seventh overall in the European League in 2014.
Aside from the growing number of opportunities available to BMX riders, the sport is also a fantastic form of exercise as it builds both upper and lower body strength and cardio endurance. Moreover, BMX provides an important avenue to learn or improve upon the fundamental skills, such as reflex and endurance, which are necessary for all other bicycle sports; indeed, many elite riders have begun their careers racing in BMX, and later progressed to other professional cycling sports.