Campbell Riverite Dane Kerluck is heading to France to take part in the UCI BMX racing world championships after three years of waiting.
Kerluck, who is just 15, has been preparing for the competition in Nantes, France since just before the pandemic started. His plans were put on hold when the restrictions came into effect. Three years later he is getting his shot at racing on the international stage.
“It feels really great. I’m happy to see all my hard work pay off. It’ll be a great experience for me,” Kerluck said.
The Kerluck family has always been active. They discovered BMX racing when they visited the Coal Hills BMX track in Cumberland. Then five years old, Dane tried a couple of laps and enjoyed himself.
“I guess we just progressed from beginner rider to expert and now we’re going to the world championships,” said dad Jason Kerluck. “He’s been racing since he was five. He’s won the provincials multiple times, last year he was fourth in Canada.”
Dane trains at the Coal Hills BMX track in Cumberland. He’s one of a few local riders who head down to the track from Campbell River.
“There are about four or five families who go to Coal Hills. More people from Campbell River are going because of our little group,” said Dane.
“We’d like to get a track open here, but it’s very difficult. We’ve been trying… We’re still hopeful,” Jason added.
For Jason, seeing his son progress to this point has been a point of pride.
“It’s really exciting for me to watch and see his development and progression. I don’t race, but I’m a coach and a teacher, so I’ve been working with Dane to try and help him,” he said. “I know it’s always tricky as a family to work together like that, but we’ve been pretty good at communicating. I’ve been coaching him, and he’s been coaching the younger kids. It’s a lot of fun to participate and to help him give back as a coach as well.”
Dane’s race day is on July 28. He’ll be with the 16-year-old age group, going up against 130 different riders from around the world. While that is stiff competition, Dane is optimistic if a bit reserved about his expectations.
“I’d probably be happy with whatever I do,” he said. I hope to make it out of the qualifying round.”
“It feels really great to compete at a world level,” he added.