BMX star, 11, hopes world debut can lead to Olympics dream

Sutton BMX rider Jess Marriott in action

Jess Marriott, 11, will compete at her first BMX world championships after impressing on the national and regional stage. - Credit: Supplied/Lisa Marriott

The mother of an 11-year-old BMX champion believes the lack of expectation ahead of her daughter’s world championship debut could help achieve her Olympic dream one day. 

Jess Marriott of Sutton has won national and regional competitions since she first got on a BMX bike aged eight. 

“Jess had ponies and I was taking her to pony club, but it was not her thing,” Lisa Marriott, Jess’ mother, said. 

“She was really keen to start doing downhill racing and she was watching it on YouTube.” 

Sutton BMX star Jess Marriott on podium

Jess Marriott, 11, will compete at her first BMX world championships after impressing on the national and regional stage. - Credit: Supplied/Lisa Marriott

Jess has impressed on the national stage, most recently topping the Female 12 standings at a British Cycling event in Cumbernauld, Scotland. 

Her success at Peterborough Phantoms BMX Club has earned a spot at the UCI BMX World Challenge Championships in Nantes, France in July where Jess will make her bow on the international circuit. 

And Jess’ triumphs have perhaps gone unnoticed at Witchford Village College where she attends. 

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“Not a lot of people at school know what she does; she is a different person when she’s on the bike,” said Lisa. 

Sutton BMX star Jess Marriott in action

Jess Marriott, 11, will compete at her first BMX world championships after impressing on the national and regional stage. - Credit: Lisa Marriott

“Jess is not arrogant but I think for Jess, it’s a feeling of the unknown. 

“At the worlds, the field is quite strong, so it will be tough but we are going into it not knowing what to expect.” 

The British number three, who has been selected to attend a talent course at British Cycling’s base in Manchester, will race abroad for the first time when she travels to France. 

Sutton BMX champion Jess Marriott

Jess Marriott, 11, will compete at her first BMX world championships after impressing on the national and regional stage. - Credit: Supplied/Lisa Marriott

Jess has also previously competed in the Male 13 category due to her ability, which she hopes to showcase at the world championships between July 26-31. 

But for now, she is focussing on national and regional tournaments with the hope of replicating the success of Olympic BMX gold medallist Beth Shriever. 

“She is way above her age for what she can do; everyone says she could be at an Olympics one day,” Lisa added. 

Sutton BMX star Jess Marriott

Jess Marriott, 11, will compete at her first BMX world championships after impressing on the national and regional stage. - Credit: Supplied/Lisa Marriott

“All her coaches are saying the top women now were nowhere near the standard Jess is at, at her age. 

“I never thought she would be where she is now.”