South Grafton’s Jess Curtis is off to BMX World Titles in South Africa... hopefully.
South Grafton’s Jess Curtis is off to BMX World Titles in South Africa... hopefully. Adam Hourigan

BMX rider's World Championship aim

WHILE most girls her age prefer light exercise or fun games of touch football, Jess Curtis enjoys something with a little more speed.

Unfortunately for the 19-year-old South Grafton rider, her BMX World Championship goal is $5000 away.

The competition will be held in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa from July 27 to August 1.

That leaves less than six months for Curtis to reach the financial target.

But don’t let the painted nails fool you about her favourite pastime - she likes proving people wrong.

“Some people, when I say I do BMX, don’t expect a girl to be involved,” she said.

“There are always a lot more boys but there are plenty of girls too.

“I think girls shouldn’t be scared of what the boys can do.”

Curtis will compete in the girls’ 19-24 age category in a knockout format which sees the world’s finest saddling up beside one another.

For someone whose only overseas experience is a family holiday to Fiji, BMX ‘is a good way to travel’ for Curtis.

Last year’s national titles doubled as the qualifying series.

“I don’t know how I’ll go (in South Africa). I’m stoked to just go there,” an ‘overwhelmed’ Curtis said.

“When I started I didn’t even know there were things like this.

“I’d love to make it to the quarter-finals so I’ll just see how I go. When I think about it now it is a little scary.”

Since ‘nearly breaking a leg’ when she made her biking debut aged five, Curtis rode into the sunset for almost a decade.

She returned to BMX six years ago with a single-mindedness needed for the good to become great.

“I have always dreamed of going to the world championships and Australian titles,” she said.

“And I just thought ‘let’s go to South Africa’. I was just really excited.

“My goal is just to go to as many world titles as I can.”

Curtis trains every day at the South Grafton BMX Club, alongside fellow world championship-bound local Chris Poole.

“It’s just part of me,” Curtis said.

“There is never a time when I don’t feel like getting on a bike and riding.

“It’s the adrenalin and you all want that number one.”

Curtis plans on organising a trivia night in April to help raise funds for the event and her employer, Trish Burgess of Hair off the Dog, has challenged local businesses to help raise $100 each.

Jess’ journey

Saturday, July 24 - Depart for South Africa.

Sunday, July 25 - Sightseeing of Pietermaritzburg.

Monday, July 26 - Free day/practice.

Tuesday, July 27 - BMX World Championships official practice starts.

Wednesday, July 28 - Practice continues.

Thursday, July 29 - BMX World Championships begin.

Friday, July 30 - Competition continues.

Saturday, July 31 - Competition continues.

Sunday, August 1 - Final day of competition.

Monday, August 2 – Depart South Africa.



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