He’s already enjoying spectacular success on the BMX track, but Jake Earnest’s cycling career has just been given a phenomenal boost.
The ACG Parnell College Prefect has been selected into the Cycling New Zealand BMX Performance Hub – a national training programme that pathways riders aged 16 to 22 into the high-performance sport. With just four new riders selected for this year’s squad, Jake is thrilled to make the team and have the opportunity to take his sporting prowess to the next level.
“Being picked allows me to have a more straightforward approach to being an elite level rider,” says Jake. “It enables me to take the next step in my development while gaining knowledge and understanding of what will be required when entering a high-performance programme.”
Participants benefit from high-level coaching, training camps and athlete workshops, as well as strength and conditioning work, access to testing data and the chance to compete in international events (COVID-19 dependent).
“I hope to gain a multitude of technical progression and tactical/situational awareness skills, which will allow me to compete at an Australasian and international level. I’m also looking to improve my mental and physical attributes, which will complement each other and make me a better rider and person.”
BMXing for the past 12 years, Jake already has a string of accolades to his name. He’s been the South Island Champion twice, the North Island Champion once, and has made the National Championship finals 11 times. Not only that, but he’s had podium finishes in six National Champs and even been in a World Championship final.
His proudest moments? “Getting fifth in my age group at the 2013 World Championships and being a semi-finalist at the World Champs in 2015, 2016 and 2018.”
Now focused on improving his technical performance through the BMX Performance Hub, the talented 16-year-old has his sights set on a podium finish in the Junior Elite National Championships later this year and eventually hopes to achieve international selection for Oceania and the World Rounds/Championships. With around 14 hours a week spent targeting fitness, strength and conditioning, and technical skills, it’s a lot to fit in. But that’s just how Jake likes it.
“I’ve grown up on a bike, and I adore progressing my skills and jumping bigger and bigger obstacles. I love the feeling of riding fast, not to mention the opportunities the sport has given me to travel New Zealand and the world.”
Although BMX riding is his greatest passion, Jake also has plenty of other strings to his bow. He competes nationally for ACG Parnell College in downhill mountain biking, plays football and volleyball, and is flourishing academically too.
“The willingness of the school to support academic and sporting endeavours allows us the freedom to diversify our commitments and pushes us to maximise our potential. Obviously, I’m drawn to the academically rigorous nature of ACG, but the school’s encouragement of sports and other extracurriculars have also helped me become a more well-rounded student.”
ACG Parnell College Sports Coordinator Steph Trowill couldn’t agree more.
“Jake is an outstanding young man who has a bright future awaiting him. It is great to see him thriving in his Cambridge AS-Level subjects while also juggling the demands of his sporting endeavours,” says Steph.
“Selection into the Cycling New Zealand BMX Performance Hub is a well-earned achievement after many years of hard work, and I have no doubt Jake will soak up every bit of knowledge gained through the Hub to help him push on to bigger success.”
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