It was a sad day but it wasn’t a sombre, black-suit affair. Rather, brightly coloured BMX jerseys dotted the crowd as several hundred people turned out for Aidan Webber’s celebration of life on Sunday at Nanaimo’s Beban Park social centre.
Members of the Nanaimo BMX Association community and other friends and family gathered to remember the 18-year-old from Cumberland, who died in a workplace accident March 10 off the coast of Port Hardy.
Webber was an international-calibre BMX rider, nationally ranked both in Canada and the U.S. and a reigning Canadian champion.
“Above all of these accomplishments was his ability to connect and to relate to people…” said his mother, Nicole Webber. “He was a complete soul with the ability to draw people in and make them feel good and loved and special.”
She said the family’s life with Aidan wasn’t some sort of fairy tale – it was “a magical, scary, beautiful, wild ride,” she said, adding that from a young age, Aidan was “a storm of love and fun and joy.”
“I knew very quickly that to be Aidan’s mom, my choice was to worry and fret about our wild child or let go and watch him fly. So what choice did we have, really?”
At Sunday’s celebration of life, details were revealed about the Aidan Webber Legacy Fund, set up through the Vancouver Foundation. The fund’s aims are to promote youth participation in cycling and other sports, support high-level athletes, and help young people overcome barriers to realizing their goals. The fund reflects Aidan Webber’s values and those of his family, notes the fund’s website, and will continue his spirit of kindness, positivity and support for young people.
Aidan was a son, brother, grandson, nephew, uncle, friend, boyfriend, co-worker, teammate, “and so many more things,” said his mother. “And loved by a world that could not keep him.”
For more information about the Aidan Webber Legacy Fund, click here.