Success in the saddle for ex-Borders girl Hannah
Former Borders youngster Hannah Stewart has made a remarkable rise in the world of motocross in her adopted home nation of Australia.
Just seven months after clambering on board a two-wheeler bike for the first time, the 14-year-old is sitting in second place in the Western Australian Girls Championship.
Melrose-born Hannah was a pupil at Newtwon St Boswells Primary School until the family emigrated to Perth in 2011.
Mum Tabatha Jones explained: “One of the main reasons I chose to bring my children here was for a better outdoor life without the worry of rain!”
The family now lives in a small suburb 60k north of Perth.
Having ridden quads around the countryside and the beaches near home, Hannah decided she’d like to try riding a two-wheeler bike in December and joined a local club.
“Then in May, I entered her in the Western Australian state round, really just for practice against girls who’ve ridden for over eight years,” explained Tabatha.
“But she actually came second on the podium and is now sitting overall second in Western Australia junior girls’ motocross (MX). This is a huge achievement.
“It’s unheard of in the MX world as, usually, to achieve these results take years of training.
She rides a Kawasaki 250, weighing over 105kilos – and she can’t touch the ground!”
Hannah has sponsors in Australia, plus the committed support from her stepdad and trainer Craig Heard, who trains her three times a week.
Craig is from Selkirk but has lived Down Under for 12 years and his passion for MX helps Hannah achieve brilliant results, added Tabatha.
Her daughter also attends boxing training twice a week with an ex-world champion in Perth, to build up her core strength.
She hopes next year to travel around Australia in the National MX Championships and then eventually to Europe for world events.
Grandparents Anne and Glyn Jones, of Galashiels, are regular visitors to Australia and are amazed at her commitment and determination for the sport she loves.
Tabatha added: “I am so proud of Hannah’s commitment and eagerness to become the best.”