Name: Paige Harding
My name is Paige Harding and I am 12. I got my race number #66 from being six when I started and I rode down lane 6 the first time I went down a start hill.
I ultimately want to represent Australia at the 2024 Olympics. I have a long road ahead with heaps of training and hard work. The competition of racing both in Australia and overseas will give me valuable race experience. With this experience will come highs and lows but it is what I need to learn and challenge myself, so that hopefully one day I too will become a professional BMX racer.
When did you start?
I started BMX racing at the age of 6. I was watching the 2008 Olympics on television and I saw the BMX racing. From that moment on I was hooked and knew it was something I wanted to do.
Career highlight or biggest achievement?
My biggest achievement in BMX racing was getting ranked 5th at the World Titles in Auckland, New Zealand (2013) for 10 Girls (W5). Though getting ranked 7th at the World Titles in Rotterdam, Netherlands (2014) for 11 Girls (W7) was equally a highlight to achieve a world plate - top 8 of your age in a tough European market.
What is your dream?
My ultimate dream is to race BMX for Australia in the 2024 Olympics. I know the road to that dream is long and tough but I hope to race in lots of international events along the way; including most of the UCI BMX Supercross World Cup series and all World Titles.
Who or what have inspired you?
Caroline Buchanan has inspired me to believe in myself and yes a kid can one day can represent Australia in BMX racing. She encourages and helps me both on and off the bike to prepare myself; both body and mind to achieve and just as importantly to learn from my mistakes.
Who's your hero?
My hero is Caroline Buchanan - she is everything I want to be and want to achieve. For me to part of her team - Buchanan Next Gen is more than a dream come true.
Any other special talents?
I used to skateboard but now I only skate for fun and without the big tricks. In summer I like to go to the river and wakeboard. My mountain bike and street bike are also a fun alternative to BMX racing too.
I do not really have a favourite musician or group but I just love listening to current pop songs on the radio.
My favourite movie is the Hunger Games and all the sequel movies in the series.
I like to read all books written by Andy Griffiths. I especially like the 13, 26 and next in the series the 52 - Storey Treehouse.
Favourite TV Show?
I do not really watch a lot of television but I like the reality shows where people are trying to win using physical skill and have to challenge themselves; like Wipeout and Biggest Loser.
My favourite food is pizza, pasta and rice. Also do not forget those crispy M&Ms and plain Cadbury chocolate.
How the grant will help you/how will you use the money?
This grant will help me get to Zolder, Belgium to compete at the 2015 World Titles as a 12 Girl. I hopefully will better my world ranking but ultimately it is the experience of racing in such an international event that gives me the experience to learn and grow as a rider. I am forever grateful to the Layne Beachley Foundation and Aim for the Stars for this amazing opportunity.
Last words: Quote or Motto you live by?
"See The Win" and "Believe is the secret of success"