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12 May 2021
Having the opportunity to skate on the world stage has been a long-term dream for Horsham’s Dylan Bates.
And he never thought he would be this close to achieving that dream.
Bates, 19, has earned a spot to compete among Australia’s best scooter riders in a qualifying round of the Nitro World Games.
The world games, set to take place in Brisbane later this year, is an annual extreme sports event organised by Nitro Circus. The event attracts professional athletes in freestyle motocross, BMX, skateboard and scooter disciplines.
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Bates will fly to the Sunshine Coast in Queensland tomorrow to compete in the qualifying round in Mooloolaba at the weekend.
World champion scooter and BMX rider Ryan Williams hand-picked Bates among other talented scooter riders across Australia after seeing his skillset in a video he submitted for a trick competition.
Bates said being selected was bringing him closer to achieving his childhood dream.
“When the opportunity came up for the competition, I thought I would just go for it,” he said.
“I saw Ryan liked one of my videos and the next day I got an invite to compete. To say I could be going to compete among some of the best in the world is a pretty surreal feeling.”
Bates said if he qualified he would attempt a triple backflip – a trick he is yet to successfully complete.
“I’ve done doubles on a normal ramp, but given there’s a 40-foot jump, my aim is to do a triple – if I can walk away doing that, I’ll be stoked,” he said.
“I’m definitely a bit nervous, but I know all the other boys will probably feel the same. I’m just going to go out and give it my best shot.”
Bates said a big part of the sport was taking ‘calculated risks’ to impress judges and stand out among other competitors.
“At my level, some of the tricks I’m trying to pull off can get pretty dangerous – you have to go into it knowing there is a risk of hurting yourself,” he said.
“I use the skate park here in Horsham to train, but I try to get to Melbourne once a week to train at the facilities there where they have foam pits – I need that kind of protection as well.”
Growing up in Horsham, sport was always a significant part of Bates’ life, playing footy and first picking up a scooter aged 12.
“It was always footy and scootering for me, but scootering has taken off more than anything,” he said.
“When I picked up my first sponsor, I realised this was something I could keep doing.”
Bates said he never thought it would be possible to turn his passion into a career.
“Going back three years, I never would have thought I would get to this point,” he said.
“I always had the thought in my head that this is where I wanted to get to, but I didn’t think I would ever be competing in the Nitro games among the best in the world.
“It just goes to show if you keep your head in the right place and stay dedicated, anything can happen.”
– Dylan De Jong
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