Finding community on the path to the podium

Tavin Krutop poses with his championship trophies. | Photo Supplied

Tavin Krutop is happy Sun Peaks Elementary school isn’t in session on Fridays. But he doesn’t stay entertained with a TV or video game system; there isn’t enough time.

The nine-year-old and his parents, Jeremy Krutop and Kirsten MacMillan, have spent their weekends for the last few months travelling around the province to compete in motocross races.

After the family entered Tavin in his first competition they never looked back.

He started out in the 50 cc races and quickly worked his way to the front of the pack, consistently reaching the podium. This season he was in the top three at every race in the MCQMX BC South Series, a part of the Canadian Motosport Racing Corp Series.

By the final event he had earned first place in the 50 cc category for seven and eight-year-olds and the 50 cc open.

Jeremy said going into the final races Tavin had enough practice to know what he had to do to win the championship.

“It feels good,” Tavin said of winning the series. “I’m proud of myself.”

His family and locals of Sun Peaks aren’t the only ones paying attention; RTR Performance in Kamloops have signed on to sponsor the young athlete.

When he approached the company he told them his goals and they described what their ideal athlete was like. They wanted someone nice and courteous, who acted as a positive role model, who was a good student and who kept their room clean.

They have provided promotion, decals, discounts and brought replacement parts to races when things went wrong.

“He’s one of the most humble and quiet kids you’ll meet,” said Erik Dube, who handles the racing department for RTR. “Everyone you talk to likes them. He’s adapting really well and getting really quick.”

Tavin has also had the opportunity to train at Whispering Pines raceway in Kamloops with national motocross racers.

He’s working on cornering, knowing when to stand or sit and his overall technique.

Beyond Tavin’s success, the family said it has been a great way for them to connect.

“This has been the best thing to bring us together,” said Kirsten. “It’s good family time and less intimidating than we expected.”

Jeremy described the community that attends the races, families helping other families through injuries, bike repairs and life outside of the sport.

Sage Deverell, a well known member of the community, was recently paralyzed in an accident but continues to support racers and lend his equipment to those starting out, including Kirsten.

With Deverell’s generosity, all three family members raced at some point in different series.
“He’s been really good to us as a family getting us started in the sport,” Jeremy said.

He also pointed to support from his employer Jason White of Sun Peaks’ Powder Ventures as being key to the trio being able to travel nearly every weekend.

“If anyone understands the commitment it takes its Jason,” he said, referring to White’s NASCAR career.

With the community backing him Tavin is ready to continue competing, including an arena series this winter. He is aiming for higher levels of competition and maybe the national stage while forming relationships in the sport.

“It’s super challenging,” he said. “It’s fast and I like meeting new friends.”

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