WCMX athlete, Ben Sleet is looking forward to competing at the World WCMX Championships in Fontana, California on 17 December but his family need help with funding the expensive trip and practice sessions leading up to the competition around the UK. They have set up a fundraising page to raise the £6,000 needed.
Ben who has Spina Bifada has been training in WCMX sport since 2018 when he took delivery of a specially built freestyle lightweight wheelchair and started training at Henley Skatepark. In April this year he was the youngest European to land a back flip in a wheelchair and the first male in the UK at RampWorld in Cardiff.
Ben went to the World Championships in Cologne in Germany in 2019 and came 4th in the Kids Division. In 2020, because of Covid, the World Championships in California were postponed and held virtually. Riders submitted a video of a run at their local skatepark, Ben entered the Beginners Division and came in first place place. In 2021 there were no World Championships held.
Hugo Gentilli from Hot Moves who has sponsored Ben and donated £500 to the World Championships said, “I think it’s incredibly what Ben is doing considering what he is up against. We’re in such an affluent town like Henley, I can see why we can’t get behind Ben and support him to make his dreams come true. He puts me and many other people to shame, dropping into these big bowls and ramps I couldn’t even do it with normal equipment. I’m very in awe of him and I’m sure he’s going to smash it and we’re here for him.”
Ben’s Dad, Michael said, “At the moment because of these present times, we wouldn’t be able to take him many places at all. Much as he comes down and makes some improvements, to progress he needs to go other skatepark centres where he meets different people that are BMX and Scooter Olympic and World Champions helping him and inspiring him to do stuff.”
Ben’s Mum Angela added, “All the World Championships will be at different skateparks so if we just stick to the one it’s not great, he needs to learn to do things at other skateparks.”
We met Ben over the summer before trips to Manchester and Deeside near Liverpool. He said, “I’m looking forward to practising a double back flip. To land it you need the speed, pull and the whip.”
If you would like to help Ben get to the World Championships and defend his title, please go to Fundraiser by Angela Louise Sleet : Ben’s road to the World Championships (gofundme.com)