Sport

Inspiring talk

By Simon Ruppert

Local Motocross Champion and recent X-Games Gold Medallist Robbie Adleberg visited Benalla’s Primal Health Club to share the story of his journey from small-town boy to international superstar on Saturday.

He was invited to talk at an event hosted by Primal owner and Benalla Rural City councillor Scott Upston.

The event also included two paralympians, Cam Carr OAM and Cody Meakin OAM, who told their incredible stories.

Keep an eye out in next week’s Ensign for a feature on these two inspirational elite athletes.

Robbie is currently one of the best at what he does, but he has had to sacrifice a lot and work hard to achieve the success that is making him a household name in Benalla and across the extreme sports landscape.

He is the only Australian to win a Gold Medal at the Summer and Winter X-Games.

‘‘What I do is called freestyle motocross. So I do jumps on my bike, and I do stunts like handstands, backflips and front flips,’’ Robbie said.

At almost 30 years-old Robbie is one of the more senior competitors on the motocross circuit with 15 years as a pro under his belt. He has won seven X-Games medals since his first games in 2010.

‘‘It’s been a good year. This year alone I’ve got three bronze and two gold medals,’’ Robbie told a crowd of admiring fans.

Robbie was given his first bike when he was only four years old and would ride with his older brother.

After a cousin visited and watched Robbie ride he told him that some of his improvised moves were similar to what the Crusty Demons were doing.

Not sure who the Crusty Demons were, Robbie took himself down to the local video store and picked up a VHS.

Any youngster reading this who does not know the terminology might have to ask their parents what a video store and a VHS are.

‘‘As soon as I saw what the Crusty Demons were doing I knew this is what I wanted to do,’’ Robbie said.

Robbie had to leave school to realise his dream, but he decided to give his sport 100per cent and never looked back.

His advice to any youngsters in Benalla who want to make it as an elite sportsperson is to follow his three golden rules — belief, dedication and sacrifice.

Cr Upston said he was delighted with how the talk went and he was thankful to Robbie for taking the time to share his story.

‘‘It was an opportunity to highlight how important sport is and what it can deliver if you use it as your vessel to achieve goals,’’ Cr Upston said.

‘‘I thought this was a great opportunity for the Benalla community to speak to some guys who play sport at an elite level, which is something they might not normally have exposure to.’’