Khawa — Nick De Wit, South Africa's most decorated Freestyle Motocross (FMX) rider and his team recently enthralled Khawa Dune Challenge and Cultural Festival enthusiasts with explosive energy while effortlessly performing risky backflip stunts on air.
De Wit and his team displayed nothing but sheer confidence and professionalism much to the delight of the massive crowd, which had thronged Khawa recently.
They employed bike tricks with consistency where none of the riders screwed up a single run stylishly flipping high up into Botswana's blue skies.
All this played out before President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi, First Lady Neo Masisi and Vice President Slumber Tsogwane.
The South Africans sent the crowd into a frenzy with their electric riding in an extreme sport where no single Motswana rider featured, begging the question where were Batswana freestyle motocross riders?
Responding to the question amid the thrilling stunt performances in an interview, Dakar Rally fastest rookie and Southern Africa's and Botswana top motocross sportsman Ross Branch said there were no Batswana Freestyle Motocross riders.
He said that was most probably due to the fact that the sport was extreme, involving high risk, where bad injuries could be sustained if skill was not perfected.
Currently, he said there was only one Motswana FMX rider Alastair Sayer, who hailed from Orapa and competed internationally.
Sayer has been a high profile rider who has been taking on the big ramps in the sport since 2002 and has been a champion in Southern Africa.
"FMX is a really risky sport where anything can happen," said 38-year-old Nick in an interview.
The highly rated FMX man hails from Johannesburg and has been in the game for over 20 years.
Quizzed on what goes on in his mind before he embarks on the high risk sport, he said, "I have spent my lifetime perfecting my skill. My love for the sport, determination and discipline enables me to perform. To stay winning, you have to stick with the competition and get better, innovate and the backflips is one of those tricks. So you have to push yourself to the limits and learn the tricks," he said.
"You have to make sure that you are 100 per cent committed and you know what you are doing. I have been doing the backflip since 2004 and competed all over the world, in South America, North America, Europe, Asia, everywhere, I have really travelled the world riding my bike," he said.
Nick has been South Africa FMX champion for 10 years and came fourth in the world FMX championships.
Quizzed on how he psyched himself before embarking on the high risk, adrenaline rushed sport and risky terrains he said, "It takes a lot of practice. We know what we are doing so we go out there and just make sure everything is 100 per cent set up, the ramps and we know we are ready to ride," he said.
Even though, Nick has been doing FMX for over 20 years, he admits that he gets nervous at times.
"I can get a little bit nervous sometimes in the first jump of the day or when in a new set up.
Experience counts, we have done this a lot of times and we know exactly what we are doing so it's another fun day," he said with a smile.
Asked had attracted him to go into FMX sport in the first place, Nick, who is signed by Jungle Rush FMX, said he used to race motocross and realised that he enjoyed jumping off ground with his bike, "I really enjoyed the jumping and the flying into the sky and from there I just progressed and I found what I was good at and from there I just pushed," he said.
According to the Freestyle Motocross Team FMX website, the sport is the fastest growing action sport of the new age.
It is combination of suspense, thrill, and danger, which is gradually entering the entertainment industry.
Freestyle Motocross stunt shows are a great source of extreme and exciting entertainment for intermission shows, half time shows, or even a show in itself.
Source : BOPA