A ten-year-old BMX star from Horsham has secured an international sponsorship deal after impressing an American company through social media.
Josh ‘JT’ Cunningham is a competitve freestyle BMX enthusiast from Milton Road, Horsham with big dreams of one day competing professionally around the world.
He attracted attention from Kid Dynamite Apparel after his father posted a video of him on Facebook.
Josh said:“It’s really nice to be recognised for my biking and it’s cool being the only person in the UK sponsored by them. I am really proud of it.”
Last year Josh, who has been riding since the age of five, beat several older riders to take first place at the Under-16s Horsham ‘Jam’.
He said: “I felt really happy when I won because I only came third before.
“One day I would like to compete around the world and win the G-Tour which is a big competition in America. That would be really cool.”
While not a typical career path, it is one that his proud parents thoroughly support.
Josh’s father Adrian, 43, who also enjoys BMXing in his free time, said : “Some comments that I have had from other parents is that it is too dangerous, but playing football can lead to broken bones these days so it’s just as dangerous.
“Of course I worry about his safety but I always tell him to only do what he feels comfortable with and make sure he always wears his helmet.”
Josh began BMXing after his parents bought him a trick bike while on holiday when he was five.
Adrian said: “It was the first time he had ever ridden a bike and within half an hour the training wheels had come off and he was trying out things he had seen other kids doing.
“He just took to it like a duck to water, he was fearless.”
BMXing is currently taking the world by storm, particularly after the racing element of the sport was included in the London Olympic Games in 2012.
Josh is a regular at Horsham skatepark and likes nothing more than learning some new skills.
Adrian said: “I started taking him to the skate park and when the older kids saw what he could do and what potential he had they took him under their wing and showed him how to do new tricks. He’s made some really good friends through BMXing.”
Horsham and Crawley are said to have two of the best skateparks in West Sussex with riders of all ages travelling from around the country to try them out.
BMX riders need to have strength, nerve and tactical ability, all of which Josh appears to possess as he pulls of trick after trick with ease.
He said his favourite trick to do is called a bars spin which involves the rider spinning the handlebars.
He added: “The thing I like best about BMXing is being part of the BMX family. I just can’t imagine doing anything better than this.”