Sponsorship deal fuels Roman’s passion for motocross

AN EIGHT-year-old Knaphill boy has beaten more than 300 applicants to secure a sponsorship package to fuel his passion for motocross.

Roman Bellairs only began riding in April last year, following in the footsteps of his father, Josh, who also rode when he was young. Josh’s father, John, still rides, so bikes clearly run in the family.

WINNING LOOK – Roman in his new sponsored clothing with his KTM SX65 bike, and showing his flair for motocross

“Roman absolutely loves to ride and practises twice a week, three times when he can,” Billie, his mother, said.

“He’s improved hugely this year, and he turned being in lockdown into the chance to practise at every opportunity.

“His hard work and passion for his bike paid off when he was announced as one of the youngsters to land an Even Strokes-Yoko 2020-21 sponsorship.”

Roman impressed the team at Even Strokes, an online motocross store which sells parts, clothing and protective equipment to motocross riders across the UK and Europe.

Even Strokes also sells clothing from Yoko, a longstanding Finnish brand who are supporting Even Strokes’ youth rider sponsorship programme.

AIR TIME: Roman careens across the landscape as he practices his motocross skills

Billie explained how Roman had secured the sponsorship. “We had to write a covering letter describing how long Roman has ridden and what he has achieved in that time,” she said.

“The sponsors also wanted to see videos and photos of the riders’ social media, so we sent in Roman’s Instagram handle so they could see him from Day 1.” 

Roman’s love of motocross caught the eye of James Burfield, the owner and a director of Even Strokes.  

“We had a clear vision of making motocross more affordable for riders of all ages and ability, and this sponsorship programme was high on our list of priorities,” James said.

“First and foremost we were looking for riders who are polite, respectful and will be good ambassadors for our brand. Motocross is supposed to be fun, and we wanted to support like-minded riders and their families.

“This is an investment in the future of motocross in the UK. We want the kids to be able to chase their dreams and have fun doing it, without any pressure.

Roman made the most of lockdown, taking the opportunity to double down on practice

“We loved Roman’s passion for the sport at such a young age, how much he loves riding his bike and how hard his mum and dad work to support his racing.”

Roman has yet to race competitively, but that is the aim over the next year.

“We’ve been showing him how to stay safe on the track, and what to do should he come off in a race,” Billie said. “Leave the bike, and get off the track, those safety principles.

“We take Roman to practise every weekend, and we’re both there to encourage him. We travel all around, from friends’ tracks in Hampshire, all the way up to Northampton and Rugby.”  

For the moment, though, it’s back to school for Roman, a pupil at Bisley C of E Primary.

“Roman really missed it during lockdown,” Billie said. ”He’s very confident, has lots of friends and was in a lot of the school’s clubs.

“The motocross really helped him at a tricky time, gave him a different focus and, of course, he just loves it.”

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