'Temple Raiders' BMX group in South Shields to take part in race, thanks to funding from policing chief

A group of youngsters are gearing up to attend a BMX race thanks to funding from a policing chief.

By Hayley Lovely
Tuesday, 10th May 2022, 11:37 am

The young people from Tyneside Outdoors’ (TO’s) Temple Raiders in South Shields will be taking part in the final BMX race of the Race Around The Region series hosted by Barnesbury BMX Club in Bedlington this Saturday.

Temple Raiders is TO’s ‘youth club on bikes’, which runs each Monday evening in Temple Memorial Park.

The group provides young people aged 11-to-16 with opportunities to enjoy a range of cycling activities, including mountain biking, Cycle Speedway and BMX racing, as well as learning bike maintenance.

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Temple Raiders on their BMX bikes

Funding to take part in the race came from the Northumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner’s Local Youth Fund.

Gerard New, TO’s youth and community worker said: “Whilst the group does like to take part in racing activities, we don’t get to do this often, mainly because we have to travel to all the venues.

"The group enjoys playing games in the park, like hide-and-seek-on-a-bike, or in school holidays taking long rides out of the park - maybe to North Tyneside to play on their Pump Track in Northumberland Park or to Whickam Thorns to ride the BMX track there.”

Aslyn Tooley, a member of the group since 2019, said: “When I first became a part of Temple Raiders I was unfamiliar with anything to do with bikes at all, I could barely ride one let alone know how to fix one, but since joining Temple Raiders I have become increasingly active and have started BMX racing and been on amazing days out to places like Leeds Urban Bike Park and London.”

Temple Raiders on their BMX bikes

Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness said: “I recently asked young people to tell me what matters to them in their area and I’m proud to say they did exactly that.

"Through the Northumbria Violence Reduction Unit’s Local Youth Fund, 24 projects developed by young people were successfully funded including those from Tyneside Outdoors.

"I can’t stress enough how important it is that we continue to engage and invest in our young people now to ensure they have the right support and opportunities to make positive decisions for the future.”

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Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness

Temple Raiders race on second-hand donated BMXs but hope to buy their own fleet of racing bikes in the near future.