Perago Trust grant recipient Leila Walker gives an update on her training and competition.

Dear Perago Trust Board,

I would like to acknowledge your contribution to my BMX Campaigns and pursuit to compete at the top level of BMX racing. Your ongoing support is so valuable and appreciated.

In previous years, I have used your financial support to contribute toward coaching costs with Matt Cameron under MCRA (Matt Cameron Race Academy) who provides me with world class level coaching.

From may years of support from the Perago Trust, I was fortunate enough to receive the first tier of TAPS (carding) with High Performance Sport NZ. With this came phenomenal resources including a portion of funding for my Campaigns in 2023.

My 2024 season had a bumpy start having suffered both PCL and Meniscus knee tears early 2023. After a long and testing 3 months of rehab between November and February I received clearance from medical staff.

My first Campaign this year was Oceania Continental Championships, followed by World Cup rounds 3 & 4, both held in Brisbane, Australia. Here I had a successful campaign claiming Silver in Elite Women at the Oceania Championships.

The World Cup was an amazing experience, one of the most special races and milestones in my BMX career. Rounding out the field as the youngest rider, in a class of so much experience and surrounded with my childhood inspiration. I finished 17th in Round 3, and 9th in Round 4 of the UCI BMX World Cups- missing the final by just one position on day 2.

Just last weekend Hawkes Bay held the New Zealand National Championships for both Challenge and Elite Categories. I took out the Elite Women Class, receiving my 3rd National Championship ‘white jersey’ and receiving my 12th consecutive National Champs Title.

This year I chose to step straight from Junior Elite (in 2023) and into the Elite Category in order to qualify myself a position for the Paris Olympic Games. My upcoming season plans including another World Cup (27th-28th April) held in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Then a small two week training block in Canada alongside their national team in order to give me the best preparation for the World Championships (18-19th May) in Rockhill, South Carolina.

The 2024 World Championships pose a final opportunity for me to qualify myself for the Olympic Games in Paris which brings so much excitement.

If successful, it is going to be a busy June/July flying to Paris for Pre Camps and campaigns to prepare for the Games. However, fortunately for me the biggest perks of my youth provides a massive window before Los Angeles Olympic Games in four years time which is too, a long term goal of mine. Allowing for so much experience and growth to be gained in the Elite Class!

Again, a massive thank you to the Perago Trust and the opportunities that you provide. Not only the financial support but the trust and loyalty that is encompassed as well. I am beyond excited for what this season has in store and hope to work alongside you again.

Thank you,

Leila Walker


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