In early October, I was given the opportunity to travel to China for 3 weeks to train with the Shandong BMX team, in the city of Jinan, Eastern China.
Myself and Canadian Elite rider James Palmer had a group of 14 riders to work with, all Elite riders. Only one of the riders spoke English and it meant we had to use translators to coach which was a new experience for me and a massive learning curve.
With no real understanding of what the level of riding would be or what I was even getting myself into, I was repeatedly impressed with the talent, facilities and support these riders had been given. The training centre itself had their own private BMX track, gym, dining hall and dorm room all in one location. It also included a shooting range and velodrome too with over 100 athletes living on site, funded by the Chinese Government. This also was only the equivalent of a region team such as the central region and there were another 5 of these teams around China.
The main reason for the trip was to help transfer knowledge on how to train as an Elite rider and help for that 3 weeks with an intense training block to help them gain an understanding of BMX training. Given that, the skill level and speed of these riders was truly impressive and it will be great to see how much they have improved next time I get there!