18 December 2018
Anan Zaki | Western News, Christchurch
JACK Harris-Clarke's family has been saving money all year to buy him a BMX bike.
It has been a tough ask for the Hornby family.
But now their dream has come true, thanks to the Mazda Foundation, which has stepped in with a $2500 grant.
The 10-year-old from Hornby is autistic with limited speech and has sensory issues, which makes him only like fatty food.
To combat his weight, mother Kate Harris-Clarke has tried to get him into various sports, without much success.
But Jack finally found a sport to play last year, when he went riding at the Kyle Park BMX track in Hornby with his nineyear-old brother Dean.
But proper equipment was expensive.
After trying various organisations, the family received good news last month when they were granted the money.
"It was incredible, I stood there and bawled my eyes out," Mrs Harris-Clarke said.
Until last month, Jack rode a cheap bike.
But with the grant from the Mazda Foundation, the family has enough savings (originally intended for Jack) to buy new equipment for his younger brother too.
Turn to page 8
From page 1 Jack's interest in BMX has stuck with him all year.
"We took him along [to Kyle Park] last year with his younger brother Dean. He would just ride and ride and ride," Mrs HarrisClarke said.
"Jack would just continue riding, he was sweating and really enjoying it." It was "thrilling" to see Jack do what other children were doing, she said.
"For him to show an interest in something like BMX not only ticks the box with improving his fitness and dropping a few kilos, but also because he socially and behaviourally is part of a group," Mrs Harris-Clarke said.
She said Jack always rides under the watchful eyes of his brother Dean, who looks out for him on the track.
Dean is happy to see his older brother with the new BMX bike and getting active.
"It feels great because we finally have a sport for Jack. It's always been about me so far," he said.
"It was a little bit of a risk to start [the BMX season] with Jack's old bike so he really needed to get another one," Dean said.
Jack is "pretty fast" and "way better" on his new bike, Dean said.
"I'm a little bit quicker but he's [Jack is] not far away."