Aug 24, 2023
Miller Elementary School students sample excitement of pro BMX stunts, learn safety
City Reporter Hundreds of Miller Elementary School students cheered at the top of their lungs Friday as professional BMX rider Alejandro Duran performed tricks that launched him high into the sky. The
Hundreds of Miller Elementary School students cheered at the top of their lungs Friday as professional BMX rider Alejandro Duran performed tricks that launched him high into the sky.
The students were gathered for a high energy outdoor assembly with pro BMX bike riders performing tricks and stunts, while also providing tips on how to stay safe.
The BMX Freestylers Dream Team assembly aimed to encourage character building, perseverance and teamwork, and according to assistant principal Rachel Chapman, the school actively looks for opportunities to bring different programs to the school.
“These events are super important for our kids," said Chapman. “Especially at the beginning of the school year because they are full of energy, they get to see something cool that they maybe haven’t seen in their lives, and it gives a great chance for all of us to get together as a school community”
Pro BMX riders Shane Ohara and Alejandro Duran engaged the assembly, with Duran acting as announcer for the show because he was unable to perform due to a broken knee cap from a BMX crash.
Ohara said they emphasize three main points during each of their shows.
“The first one is to be motivated. We reflect on ourselves showing them how we are motivated to get to where we are,” said Ohara. “The second point is to be respectful, be nice to everyone and make sure you’re not a bully. Then the third point is to never give up, which is super important. We use ourselves as an example, because we never gave up on our BMX dreams.”
Duran said he was inspired to start riding by a friend when he was younger who challenged him to try. He instantly “fell in love with the feeling of adrenaline and the feeling of being better every day,” he said.
“I have been competing for more than 15 years in BMX and I have been traveling around the world in most of the world cups and big competitions," said Duran. "What I can recommend to the kids is to follow their dreams. If they are practicing any sport or are artistic, a singer or anything, just be the best that they can be. Focus on the future and try to be the best.”
Ohara spent some time reminding students about bike safety checks and self safety checks to ensure a smooth ride.
For a bike check make sure the handle bars are secure, check tire pressure to ensure there are no flats or lack of air, that the seat is secure, the chain of the bike is tight but not tight enough to snap, and make sure the brakes work, he said.
Ohara told students “he has shin pads, he has knee pads, he’s got ankle guards, but what’s the most important thing he has on?” All the kids responded by shouting “his helmet!”
April Chavez is the Santa Maria City Reporter for the Santa Maria Times. If you have information, or a story idea that you would like to share, send her an email at [email protected].
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