First Sponsors Announced For New Sport – Competitive BMX Racing
Published: February 23rd, 2017
By: Cameron Turner

First sponsors announced for new sport – competitive BMX racing

NORWICH– All an idea needs is a person dedicated enough to get the gears turning in the right direction.

And that is what Norwich native, Dave Lawson has done – through his love of the sport of BMX – and extensive background in the sport dating back to his high school days, Lawson and his seven year old son are hoping to grow a new sport in the heart of Norwich.

“When Dave was a younger man he was a local BMX star,” said Brendan Hannan, NBT Bank – Norwich Rotary President. “The Norwich Rotary Club has been looking for something to be involved in.”

After stepping away for some time, Lawson returned to the sport he loves when he introduced his son to BMX shortly after he learned to ride his bike. This passion has grown into an idea for the youth in Norwich and surrounding local communities. Lawson is determined to find a way to implement a new sport, BMX Racing, into the community – something he notes will allow the youth an outlet and place of worth.

"Then I brought the idea to Tyler Oliver (Associate Executive Director at the Norwich YMCA) and Jamey Mullen (CEO, and Executive Director at the Norwich YMCA) and did my first seminar here (YMCA) to try to introduce the sport to the area,” said Lawson.

Currently Lawson has approximately 10 kids involved ranging from ages 7 to 14 years old. These include students at Norwich, Calvary Baptist, Holy Family and one out of the Earlville area. Lawson and his family visited several tracks in the area and quickly became friends with Rick and Margaret Decker from Champion Speedway BMX in Owego. The Deckers have allowed all of Dave's students to get their start by loaning them bikes and helmets. Their generosity and unending support helped Lawson get in touch with USA BMX and his idea of bringing a track to Norwich is quickly gaining momentum.

“Then in October (2016) we got together with a bunch of BMX parents, developed our board and are in the process of getting a track in Norwich. Going to the school board meeting is the next step,” said Lawson.

The issue – funding. The sport itself can be as inexpensive or expensive as one wishes it to be. However, when a team aspect is involved the numbers add up quickly. Enter the Norwich Rotary Club and Norwich YMCA.

The Norwich Rotary Club caught wind of the idea that Lawson had following a presentation through the Norwich Youth Bureau that Lawson had put on. Said presentation – which laid out the basics of the sport, the site location, and advantages that it would offer the community – caught the attention of NBT Branch Manager Brian Burton.

Burton approached fellow coworker at NBT Bank in Norwich, Brendan Hannan, who, as the Norwich Rotary President, ran with the idea. The Norwich Rotary Club is proud to announce that they are the first sponsor of the All American BMX team in Norwich, donating $3,000 to the cause which will go toward four new BMX race bikes, as well as a USA BMX STEM 'kit' which includes five additional bikes.

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