Locals raised close to $1000 to support Brock Hawes as he represents Sun Peaks and Team Canada at the World Cup this summer.
Hawes’ family held a send-off event at Sun Peaks Resort June 1, which included biking competitions, a silent auction and a get-together at Bottoms Bar & Grill for those in attendance. The elite athlete was in town for a short visit before heading off to Lenzerheide, Switzerland, June 3 in preparation for his first international competition June 9.
The event was held under sunny skies and brought around 20 people who bid on gift baskets. Youth in the community competed against Brock in a foot-down competition, where bikers try to get close to each other and force a competitor to put their foot on the ground, a wheelie competition and a downhill race.
The 17-year-old downhill mountain biker was the overall champion for the 2022 Canada Cup and BC Cup in the junior expert men’s division despite the fact that he has only been mountain biking for five years.
Hawes says he hopes to place in the top 10 in the World Cup series and earn a spot on a factory team, where he would be sponsored and travel year-round.
“You essentially get paid to ride your bike,” Hawes explained.
According to his mother Jenny Hawes, Brock has excelled on a bike his entire life, but it wasn’t until the family moved to Sun Peaks five years ago that Brock was exposed to downhill mountain biking.
After participating in biking camps during the summer and getting involved with friends, he began competing seriously in 2020. Three years later, he’s competing at an international level.
“He was still two years old when we took the training wheels off,” Jenny said. “He convinced us he could ride a bike right before his third birthday.”
Brock’s talent was on full display at the fundraiser as he competed against other youth in the community, including doing a wheelie that lasted over a minute, at around 150 meters.
Until now, the family has funded much of his sport, but Jenny explained that Brock’s international tour would cost between $30,000 and $50,000 because of flights, accommodation and bike mechanics.
Hawes will return to Canada part-way through the summer to compete in the Canada Cup, head back to Europe for more competitions and circle back to North America again.
He’s currently sponsored by Gravity MTB and coached by Chad Hendren. He receives support from Forbidden Bike Company, Leatt, Nobl Wheels, Schwabe Tires and Magura. Sun Peaks Resort LLP supported the family by holding the fundraiser at the resort.
Hawes said the sport brings him into the present moment and takes away worries about life.
“When you start riding your bike and going down a trail, you forget everything, all your worries and everything that’s bugging you in life – it just all goes away,” Brock explained. “You’re just sucked in right to the present moment.”
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