Janel Church spends most of her time on two wheels.
The seven-year-old from Metchosin has just won a national BMX championship in Langley, B.C. With the points she’s accumulated over the season, she’s sitting in first place in Canada for her age group.
She won’t be awarded the title and the coveted No. 1 plate for her bike until the end of the season, when each rider’s points are tallied. But Church has her sights set on the big win.
Last year, she placed second nationally, but she said she isn’t going to settle for that again.
At the national championships held in Langley, Aug. 6 to 8, Church placed first in each of her three races.
Right now Church is working to pick up her speed when she gets out of the gate to help increase her overall times.
She is at the top of the expert division for her age group but she also holds her own against riders up to two years older.
Every Tuesday, she practises. On Thursdays, she races at the BMX track at West Shore Parks and Recreation. When training with Victoria BMX she is usually racing against boys.
“My favourite part is going fast and the hardest part is crashing,” said Church, who has been racing for the past three years.
Her mother, Kathleen Church, said watching BMX in the London Olympics shows just how far BMX has made it into mainstream sports.
“It’s fresh in people’s minds,” said the proud mother.
While this bright seven year old would like to one day compete in the Olympics she would also like to compete in the BMX worlds competition in New Zealand next year. With her standings competing in the worlds is definitely a possibility.
Church races with Victoria BMX and is also a rider on the national UFO Team.