I spent time chatting with Caroline Buchanan, x5 World Champion about her vision and plans for the team she has established, a month before the announcementabout the team. Caroline has set up a team with two bright stars of the future and wants to support them through their journey.
It was great to chat with her but it didn’t take a rocket scientist to work out within less than 5 mins that this is an incredibly focused athlete with
a genuine desire to selflessly deliver something unique in the BMX world. So often it is actually about the athlete or money when I hear of teams being
set up, but things are very different here.
Caroline has a very clear plan for what she wants to achieve. “I want to offer so much more than sponsorship for the girls,” she says. And for me, this
is key. She isn’t raising money for her own organisation, she is wanting to raise the amount of money that she has budgeted to get these two girls through
this first year. Not only this (and here is what I like about her and her plans) she is bringing in other mentors and successful athletes to share and
inspire them, as well as getting the girls the equipment they need.
This is a complete package that has been put together by someone at the coalface of the sport and not a single cent is for her. “I’ve never been a cookie
cutter rider. This is what I want, I want to break the mould, support the younger generation. They are the Olympians of 2020 and 2024,” Caroline explains
about herself and her vision.
That is a big statement to make but what makes it more impressive is that in the world of BMX, no one, male or female has done anything like this before!
I find this remarkable and hard to believe. But as she explains: “it is unheard of for anyone to get so much as a free frame before they turn professional.
Between 5-18 there is nothing - but the problem is this is what builds you and sets you up.”
Caroline has a depth of knowledge and vision that goes far beyond pretty logos and an ego boost for her - this is complete focus on the next generation
and what they need and how she can help them. Caroline Buchanan doesn’t come into it and this for me shows character and passion.
“I want to start giving back to BMX and fill that mentor role,” Caroline says of her reasoning for setting up a team. Caroline decided just 6 months ago
that she wanted to start doing this - and here we are chatting about it all being announced in a month’s time. This is a remarkable amount to have achieved
in such a short time. “People have really pulled together to support this,” she says reflecting on how much has happened. From her first thoughts until
now she has scouted girls, chosen two amazing talents, designs, a website, found sponsors and set out plans for fund raising - that’s quite a delivery!
For her first two team members she has selected:
Paige Harding #66
At only 10 years of age from Sydney Australia Paige shows skills on a bike well above her age she’s already been NSW and ACT state champion along
with placing 5th at the World Championships in 2013. Paige loves mixing it in racing against the boys and has a real fighting spirit and drive to be
an Olympian of the future. This year her goals are to become state champion again, podium at BMX National Championships, contest her world plate in
Rotterdam Holland at the World Championships, become a professional BMX racer and make selection for the 2024 Australian Olympic BMX Team.
Mikayla Rose #22
13 years old from her home town of Canberra Australia and she has been keeping an eye on her for years now watching her dominating her age class,
deal with injuries and setbacks and turn into an amazing rider on and off the track. Mikayla has a great riding style looking like a boy out there
on the track which is a huge compliment for girls being able to jump well. Mikaylas goals are to podium in the National BMX series, Represent Australia
in the Australia VS New Zealand Test Team, receive the 10 year award for racing 10 consecutive Australian National Championships, Number 1 ranked in
Australia, become a professional athlete and make the selection for the Australian BMX Olympic Team at Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
So how is she going to do it? Well, through Sportaroo (a fan funding site similar to Kickstarter etc.) she has set up a funding page https://www.sportaroo.com/carolinebuchanan
to raise the money for the girls as well as donating a lot of her own items. It’s passion and selflessness, why? “It puts a smile on my face,” Caroline
says of all that she has done and is doing - including taking time out to spend with the girls showing them techniques for free. “I want to be there
for them in any way,” she continues. Her plans don’t stop there, with talks of videos, photo shoots and much more. There won’t be a dull moment!
This is a team to follow and support, not because of a World Champion, but because of the ethos, because of Caroline’s vision and genuine desire to give
back and because of the groundbreaking nature of what she is doing. We love what Caroline is doing here and are fully supportive of her vision, even
putting our hands in our own pockets…
I look forward to seeing how this team grows over the next few years!