Dakota Tucker from Cranbrook is BMX champion
PUBLISHED: 17:00 12 November 2018
Aged just six, Dakota has won regional and national championships and is gearing up to compete in Europe and then on the world stage
Little Dakota Tucker from Cranbrook has big ambitions.
She is aiming to represent Great Britain in the UCI World BMX Championships in 2020, with the chance of earning the World Number One plate.
And, judging by her track record, she is in with a good chance of doing it, even though she will only be eight years old at the time.
Aged just six, Dakota is the champion rider in the ‘six and under’ category in both the South West and South regions, and came fourth in this year’s British Championships. Her next big event will be the UCI 2019 European Rounds in Italy, Belgium, Germany, France and Latvia.
“She just wants to race and race and race,” said her father, Grayham Tucker.
He said Dakota has loved riding bikes since she was three, and started BMX riding at the Exeter Eagles track 18 months ago. Earlier this year, she met the criteria to race in the ‘expert’ category, and began competing on a national level. She achieved fourth place in her all-female category at this year’s British Championships.
Mr Tucker said Dakota’s racing and training schedule is a “huge commitment” for the family, but they are very proud of her. Her school, the Cranbrook Education Campus, is also very supportive and allows her to take days off for important races.
“Every time she wins a race, her headteacher Mr Pratt gets her up in assembly, and she brings in her bike to show everyone,” he said. “Her teachers say they’ve seen a change in her confidence. Now other boys and girls are asking if they can go out on their bikes with her.”
Mr Tucker said Dakota owes a lot of her success to her coaches: Ryan Slack in Exeter, Neil Forsyth in Newton Abbot and Mark Seaman, the former Olympic coach to the British team. And, despite her success on the racing track, Dakota is still “a very girly girl.”
“She likes wearing dresses and her bikes are always pink and purple, and sparkly,” he said.
And before long, Dakota may not be the only BMX racer in the family. Her little brother, aged just two, is also taking an interest.
“He’s following in her footsteps,” said Mr Tucker. “He’s got a bike too now and he’s trying to catch up.”