“It kicks in and you can waste your energy”
RODEN – Where their classmates play football, hockey, korfball or swimming, brothers Tom (11) and Martijn (9) van Buizen have taken on a whole different sport. They ride BMX and run tens of kilometers from a six-meter-high starting hill. They are not without merit, as the brothers will go to the World Cup in their own country in August.
When choosing a new sport after swimming lessons, Tom wasn’t sure what he wanted. “I really didn’t like anything,” he says. “I finally said something. So it became BMX. Tom was sold after a visit to the Zevenhuizen track. That was in 2017. Two years later, his younger brother Martijn also started riding BMX. He was lucky, because in his first year he was allowed to participate in the BMX World Championships in Zolder, Belgium. “We couldn’t believe our eyes there,” said Father Peter. “There were even seven year olds from New Zealand participating.” Even then, the seeds were sown for a World Cup participation in Papendal. “We knew: then the World Cup will be in the Netherlands, we want to go there.”
The brothers now train on the Assen track, which offers a little more challenge than the Zevenhuizen track. The brothers are so fond of BMX that they also built a track in the garden, including a starting hill. What is so great about BMX? “The speed is nice,” says Martijn. “It kicks in and you can waste your energy in it,” Tom adds.
On weekends, the whole Van Buizen family goes out for the KNWU competitions. Because BMX is a risky sport, parents must be present at competitions all day. They go all over the country for it. Tom sums up: “Kampen, Papendal, Brabant, Zolder… We have been almost everywhere. Mother Gerda adds: “Sometimes we are in Barendrecht before 9 am on Sunday morning. It always means eating fast, sometimes eating in the car and being on the road a lot. Many jobs are located in the south of the country. In the three northern provinces, there are jobs only in Appingedam, Assen, Noardburgum, Winschoten and Zevenhuizen.
Last year, the Van Buizen brothers could not compete with the competition due to lack of competition. “Normally we also have a tri-country cup, but now we’ve only had two games in the season,” the brothers said. Fortunately, they had mutual matches at the Assen track. Tom has also become club champion here three times. “The first game was tense again as we had no idea how the others were doing.” Fortunately, it turned out that the boys had taken a big step towards the World Cup. In the high level competition, Tom and Martijn finished 20th and 4th place respectively, and in the Dutch national championships the brothers got 15th and 3rd places in the boys 11 and boys 9 categories. too much given. Previously, I had beaten the Dutch champion and the world champion, but afterwards I was tired. BMXing is also about dosage. ‘
However, both boys qualified for the World Cup. The men have already explored the trail at Papendal. “First we had to be in the car for two hours, then my brother was allowed to try the track for an hour and a half and when it was finally my turn my tire burst after 45 minutes,” Tom says, still disappointed. . “I have now become a bicycle repairer,” laughs Father Peter. “Fortunately we have a very good bicycle shop in the village, we are very happy about it. “
Before each race, BMX riders always have the opportunity to explore the track and do a gates workout. In addition, they learn how much time they have until the fence falls, then walk away from the start as quickly as possible. “We also watch a lot on YouTube,” says Martijn. “To get an idea of what the track looks like.”
From August 14 to 22, a total of more than 3,500 participants from 47 countries will participate in all age categories. Countries can bring a maximum of 16 participants per category, but the Netherlands can send twice as many as the host country. The competition is therefore great. Boys do not yet dare to dream of high rank. The first objective is to pass the motorcycles. “After that, we’ll look further,” says Tom. “I hope for the round of 16, but that also depends on the draw.” Because the European Championships haven’t been held in their age categories, the boys don’t know what the competition is doing either. “It’s also mainly about having fun,” says Mother Gerda. “We are not trying to put pressure on it, although it is getting very serious now. All of life is school and cycling. ‘