Nathan Gould Matthew Gould
Jeppe has two more national representatives in its ranks after brothers Nathan and Matthew Gould rode for the country in the African Continental BMX Championships and the sport’s Africa Cup, in Zimbabwe recently.
Matthew won the boys 15 age group title at the championships, with Nathan finishing 4th in the boys 17 section.
The next day, at the Africa Cup, Matthew won the under-15 race again and Nathan came second in his event. Matthew was the overall winner in the youth section, ahead of Nathan.
Last week the brothers rode in the SA Age Group Championships where Matthew ended 2nd and Nathan 5th in their respective races.
“We often race against each other,” Matthew explained. “There is not much competition in the 15 years group so I sometimes ride with the 17 to 24 year-olds. Generally, we are neck and neck, sometimes he wins and sometimes I do. This time I ended up on top.”
Both boys got into the sport quite late – they have only been riding for three seasons – but are both hooked on it now, and fully committed.
Matthew explains how when they moved to Kempton Park three years ago they ended up living close to a BMX track. “I enjoyed watching the guys riding there so, in 2014 I said I wanted a BMX bike for Christmas. I tried it out and immediately knew this was for me.”
Nathan joined in and they started training with one of the elite riders at the track and three years later they both rode for South Africa.
The boys are boarders in Sable House and that has made training a challenge.
“Being in the hostel means that we can only ride on weekends. We have intensive training, on the track and in the gym, on Fridays and Saturdays, with races generally taking place on Sundays,” Matthew explained.
“Our coach has put us on a gym program and we train in the gym at Jeppe during the week, which is good. BMX is not about just riding fast, you need leg and upper body strength for the jumps and maneuvers, so gym work is vital.”
BMX is not an official sport at Jeppe, but the brothers have got a lot of recognition for their achievements and the other boys look up to them, Matthew said.
“Our housemaster at Sable, Mr Hillock, has been very supportive. We have an event called Thursday Night Thunder at our club, where the members race against each other, and we have been given special permission to go home on Thursdays during the season to compete.”
Nathan is in matric now, so he is taking a break for the exams, but for Matthew the hard work continues. He is determined to achieve more in the sport.
Hard work produces results and the Gould boys have proved that, bringing honour to the school in the process.