Gatt crowned young athlete of the year

Cameron Gatt. (Supplied)

Rising Geelong BMX Club star Cameron Gatt adds his name to a list of some of Australia’s top sporting stars, being named the Vic Sports Rebel Young Athlete of the Year.

The award recognises Victorian junior athletes who have achieved outstanding results in respect to performances at a national and/or international level during 2023.

All athletes have to be 21 or under at December 31 last year.

Previous winners of the award include former Australian women’s cricket captain Meg Lanning, and Olympic gold medallists Mack Horton and Jakara Anthony.

Gatt said it was pretty special to win the award. Gatt’s big achievement last season was winning the cruiser boys 15-16 age group at the UCI BMX World Championships in Glasgow, making him a world champion.

“All four finalists were happy to be selected in the first place,” he said. “Recognised for all the hard work that we have put in, all of our lives.

“It’s just a big bonus that I ended up winning it. Me being crowned the junior athlete of the year feels incredible, we have to keep going and keep improving.”

The Geelong Thunder BMX club rider said seeing BMX recognised amongst some of the bigger sports was really pleasing.

He said not many people know about BMX.

Gatt said he continued to train hard as he pushed forward and he wants to keep winning.

Next year, Gatt will move into the junior elite competition.

“It means I have to go through a selection process and hit all the criteria,” he said. “If I do that with everyone else that has done it too, I will have to be picked out of it to go to worlds.

“It’s not a guarantee like it has been for the past years.

“It’s exciting but it is also scary as it’s getting to the top end.”

Gatt will soon start to move into the senior age group which will give him the opportunity to test himself even harder.

He said it is pretty scary riding against the bigger riders, but it’s all part of the process and you learn who to ride with them.

Gatt’s next big race is the national championships which are in Perth.

In November, he heads to America for the Grand Race, which he said the Americans call the greatest race on earth.

It’ll be the second time he’s competing in that race.

“It’s good, but it drags on for way too long,” he said. “Between each race there’s about six hours as there’s so many people.”

Tara Murray