The young athlete from Glenferness has been riding bikes since he was about three years old and is also an avid equestrian. He won his bronze in Cross Country Olympics at nationals, but he has only been competing in that form of riding since June.
“Previously, he actually focused on marathon mountain-biking,” explained Robin Beetge, Tanner’s father. “He only tried Cross Country Olympic riding (often referred to as XCO) in June when he represented Gauteng in the sport, and the national championships was only the second time he had competed in XCO.
“I’ve always mountain-biked, and so does his mom, so we often ride as a family and both Tanner and his sister Sage (8) really enjoy the sport. We wanted to expose them to a number of sports, but one day when we were driving to the golf course for them, Tanner said he didn’t want to go, and couldn’t we go mountain-biking instead.”
Tanner, in Grade 4 at Reddam House Helderfontein, likes to take part in Like2Bike events which give children the opportunity to participate in mountain bike and duathlon sporting events regularly and finds time to practice in between his horse riding training. He has grown to love the sport and plans to continue mountain-biking.
“The nationals track was quite technical, and there were a number of jumps that I had to clear which are called ‘gap jumps’,” Tanner told the Fourways Review. “For that race, I had to do three laps on a course that was 3km long.
“I find [mountain-biking] really fun, and I like the adrenaline rush when I go fast. I’m definitely going to keep riding forever, and I think I want to do it professionally one day.”
For now, though, Tanner and his sister Sage will continue to practise their sport and have even started to build a mountain bike trail of their own on their family’s smallholding.