So how DO we roll? Many will know us already but some readers will be full of questions about the team. We are quite used to flabbergasted faces after a show when helmets come off and the age of our riders really hits home. How on earth do we have a 6 year old jumping through fire, or an 11 year old soaring over a car? To be fair, these are very good questions.
Any parent will know that feeling when the apple of their eye takes up an ‘exciting’ new hobby, and protective instinct kicks in! And here is where this club excels. Set up to offer children the opportunity to learn to ride a motorcycle safely, that is exactly what’s been happening since 1980. All those years experience have been passed through the ‘generations’, yet simultaneously evolved with current practice to provide a stable and proven training framework. A bit like the Colonel and his chicken, Tigers benefits from a solid, time-served recipe. Add a sprinkle of patience, leave out the pressure (it’s bad for your health) and we see children flourish. When the kids arrive at training each Sunday, they take their place in an extended family where support is always on hand.
And it’s astonishing, because the only pre-requisite to join us is that a child can ride a push bike without stabilisers. Some may have more riding experience, but our juniors in particular often come in as total blank canvases when it comes to the sport. But boy are they quick learners! Already this season, our rookies are trying out tricks and jumping. And week by week, the foundations of confidence and trust are being laid.
Training is every Sunday, all day, all winter – it takes dedication from everyone to get through these months. Cold fingers and toes, biting winds on the south coast, long days for little people.
But these tiny juniors with their enthusiasm and smiles, will often become the 11 year old jumping a car. Or two cars. Last season, our eldest riders were flying over three or more at a time.
So if we can return to the food analogy for just a minute more, the proof is in the pudding. And the pudding is our confident, polished displays around the country throughout the summer. These kids work their socks off because they care about the club, and have every confidence in their trainers and the team around them. And they deserve all the credit for Tigers’ success, because without their determination and fearlessness all we would have is this lovely new website but nothing to write home about.