Olympic silver medallist Kye Walker’s dad – and his coach – has expressed his joy at his son’s performance this morning in Tokyo.
The 22-year-old scooped second position – Team GB’s first medal in the sport – and hailed his family and Peckham BMX club for their part in his glory.
Dad Nigel, who has been awake all night, said this afternoon: “I am super, super proud. It’s crazy. It’s amazing. Kye always makes me proud but it has been a great journey. And it hasn’t finished. It is just getting started.
“I knew he was going to do something special. He always does. I believed he would make the final and to us we were all proud of that.
“His elder brother led the way. Tre followed. And his little sibling Kye wanted to follow his brothers. He chased his dream.”
On the pictures of Kye lifting women’s champion Beth Shriever, Nigel added: “That’s Kye all over. Kids love him, the parents love him. He makes you feel like you’re the star.”
DJ CK Flash, aka Michael Pusey MBE, added at the Peckham BMX track he helped lay out: “When he started I wanted to talk Jamaican – ‘Cowme on – run it, run it!’
“I am in shock, cos I thought I was going to faint.
“Kye is very, very funny. He’s a relaxed guy. But when he gets on the BMX track, he’s a different beast.
“Building a track where the youth can come after school and to have somewhere that’s safe, that’s a haven – that’s brilliant. There is gangs and county lines but if this guy can do it from Peckham, they will say ‘there is hope for me yet’.”
Kye credited the Peckham BMX track for his success in an earlier interview.
He said: “I owe a lot of this to the time I spent as a kid at Peckham BMX Track. Training at the track taught me the skills I needed to become a professional BMXer, and I also made some friends for life. I encourage everyone to give it a go – it’s suitable for all abilities and the adrenaline rush is incredible.”
- Southwark Council’s BMX track is in the heart of Peckham, offering inner city kids a unique opportunity have fun, make friends and learn a sport that can give them freedom to travel to school in a healthy and environmentally sound way.
- Peckham BMX track was financed in part by legacy funding from the 2012 London Olympics. The idea was to leave a lasting impact in London, from the games. Although other youngsters who started out at Southwark’s Peckham BMX track have made Team GB previously, Kye is the first Olympian, bringing the story of the track full circle.
- Southwark Council launched the track in 2013 and it is still the best in inner London. Since then, the council has gifted CK Flash (Michael Pusey) and his Peckham BMX Club free use of its fully maintained track. With no utility, hire or maintenance fees to worry about, the club is able to focus on the children and CK and his team do a wonderful job training inner city kids to ride on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturday morning’s. They have produced national champions and World Cup winners, both male and female
- Southwark Council is committed to offering children in the borough every opportunity, it offers a range of track sessions throughout the week, bringing BMX to Black, Asian and other Minority community families. On Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturday evenings and Sundays, the council puts on a variety of sessions. Free Rock up and Ride is available for children of eight years and up, these offer free use of the track, bikes and helmets, once a paid for training session has been completed.
Councillor Kieron Williams, Leader of Southwark Council, said: “I want to congratulate Kye Whyte on his amazing achievement. It’s fantastic to see the council’s 2012 Olympic Legacy investment in Burgess Park BMX helping to create another Olympic hero. I know Kye’s incredible journey from Peckham to the world’s greatest stage will have inspired a whole new generation of Southwark kids to line up at the start gate.”
For more information on sessions and if they are running, visit: www.southwark.gov.uk/bmx
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