BMX Racing in Sand Springs
Remember when you were a kid racing around the neighborhood on your bike with your friends? The “cool” tricks consisted of ramping off a curb and standing up with no hands on the handlebars yelling, “Hey guys! Check this out!” Spending time outdoors with friends doing “cool stuff” is exactly what we needed as children, and it’s exactly what our kids need now!
Say hello to Sand Springs BMX, a place where kids can spend time outdoors, build confidence, promote creativity and imagination, learn responsibility and get moving! According to the Child Mind Institute, the average American child “spends four to seven minutes a day in unstructured play outdoors, and over seven hours a day in front of a screen.” Our children, even before the COVID-19 pandemic, are shifting to indoor play to be closer to technology rather than playing outside. When the pandemic started in March 2020, we saw kids being torn apart from their friends and schools to stay safe. While it is an unfortunate situation for everyone involved, when we promote outdoor play for our kids, it can reduce stress and fatigue, increase critical thinking, and provide stimulation.
Sand Springs BMX track opened and started racing in 2000 after the closure of the previous track in Jenks, Oklahoma. BMX stands for bicycle motocross and works like this: competitors line up in a gate-style format, and when the buzzer rings, riders pedal around the track until they reach the finish line. BMX can be an individual sport and a team sport; when the gate drops, winning comes down to the individual, but joining a team can provide many scholarship opportunities and encourage kids to work hard to make sure the team wins.
Aaron Bookout, the president of Sand Springs BMX, shared with us some of the benefits of starting BMX racing at a young age.
“We see so many kids come out of their shells and gain confidence,” says Bookout. “This sport teaches kids that they get out what they put in, so the harder they work, the higher the reward. I believe that BMX teaches kids the values of hard work, independence, and integrity.”
Sand Springs BMX is a family sport that helps teach youth of all ages to work hard and challenge themselves everyday. “The people you’ll meet will treat you like family,” says Bookout, “[they’re] always eager to help and [may] even bless others with spare parts to make sure riders make their next race.” Bookout also has a racer in his own home. His son has made BMX his passion and his hard work has paid off.
“He finished 2020 nationally ranked in the top 10 for 5 and under boys,” shares Bookout. “He was having so much fun with it, he finally convinced me to get back on a bike and catch a few gates last year!”
Parents and their kids being involved with others in activities that promote community and new experiences can change the direction of a whole generation and how we interact with one another.
For those interested in giving Sand Springs BMX a try, new riders 𑁋 regardless of age, skill, or interest level 𑁋 are always welcome. The best way to join is to grab your bike and come out to the track. Practice begins at 6PM on Tuesday, and on Friday nights the races start at 6:30PM and Sunday afternoons at 2PM. Sand Springs BMX does have loaner bikes and helmets for those who want to try before fully committing to a membership. The only things you need are a desire to learn, long sleeved-shirt, long pants, and tennis shoes… they can get you the rest! For the latest information about SSBMX check them out on Facebook at facebook.com/ssbmxok.
Read more articles about Sand Springs Recreation here.