Video: Record-breaking BMX star showcases tricks at Dagenham school

BMX star Matti Hemmings came to Sydney Russell School in Dagenham.

BMX star Matti Hemmings came to Sydney Russell School in Dagenham. - Credit: Archant

What do a pogo, fire hydrant and funky chicken have in common?

BMX star Matti Hemmings came to Sydney Russell School in Dagenham as part of a compeition they won a

BMX star Matti Hemmings came to Sydney Russell School in Dagenham as part of a compeition they won as part of a school programme called Bike it, run by Sustrans (leading sustainable transport charity) to encourage pupils to take up cycling. - Credit: Archant

Believe it or not, they’re just three of the tricks on show when a record-breaking BMX champion rewarded a Dagenham school with an exclusive performance.

Matti Hemmings, the Welsh wizard of flatland freestyle, showed his moves to a crowd of 250 wide-eyed pupils at Sydney Russell, in Parsloes Avenue, on Monday.

The youngsters enjoyed the unique prize after winning a recent competition encouraging more pupils across the country to cycle to school.

The 26-year-old holds a Guinness World Record for the most cliffhanger spins with one foot on the handle bars in one minute.

Matti Hemmings

Matti Hemmings - Credit: Archant

He also holds the record for most Death Truck Spins, almost as dangerous as it sounds, in a minute – something he achieved live on Blue Peter.

Before launching his professional BMX career, Matti worked in a restaurant and as a labourer and spoke about the importance of seizing the day, saying: “Life’s a series of opportunities you’ve got to take.”

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The visit came just days after the school’s Year 7 cyclists became the winners of a borough Bike-Polo contest.

Lesley Ellis, Healthy Schools teams member at the school, is delighted to see how popular cycling has become. “Matti was amazing, it was like watching ballet on a bike,” she said.

“The children were in awe, 250 of them all deadly silent. It was surreal.”

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