Matt Rowe
2017 Award Winner

Matt was selected for the 7th annual Daniel j. Plaskett Memorial Award by Rog Plaskett after watching him for the last two years. "His attitude, competitive nature and good sportsmanship all are attributes that I've admired in Matt", Rog says.

Last season Matt was in the thick of the Track Championship Points race all season long and gave it his all while competiting in a very competitive class (15 Expert).

It all began for Matt in 2009 as an 8 year old. As a reward for a report card that featured all A's, Matt was given a bicycle. When they went to the local shop, they grabbed a pamphlet describing BMX racing at a local track called Whip City in Westfield Ma. The pamphlet promoted a free race your first time out and he talked his dad into bringing him. Matt finished third.

Matt should have gotten a trophy in his first race but, having no idea how it worked, simply rode over to his dad and asked if they could come back again next week.

Matt's first trophy was his second race at Whip City when he finished fourth. Matt had no idea that he had earned a trophy and a volunteer chased him out into the parking lot to give him his trophy ticket.

They are a regular at Whip City ever since

Matt Racing in his first year at "The Whip"
A Wide-Eyed Matt Rowe with the first trophy he ever earned racing.

Matt, when asked what his most memorable moment was in BMX, his response was: "It's winning this award." He added "It really touched my heart and its a moment that I will never forget."

He said that he felt that his biggest accomplishment in BMX was when he raced in his first National event. He needed two more Novice wins to move up to Intermediate and, on the friday night race, he finished in the top spot. Saturday was a second place finished in the pouring rain. The Sunday event pitted Matt against a good friend who also needed one more win to move up. Matt won that race, went home with his first National Trophy and was the newest Intermediate in the country, at least at that moment.

Matt feels he's got two years left racing on a regular basis as once he's done with school it will be off to college for him. He would like to be an Engineer like his grandfather was. He currently is a sophomore at Southwick Tolland Granville Regional High School.

Matt airing it out at Foothills BMX

He was asked who he admired the most in BMX. "I can just pick one but its a two-in-one package" he said. He claimed "Muscle-Head Brennen Struthers and his uncle Jeff Paquin because they are fun to ride with and easy to pick on." He said "I can beat them both but they encourage me to train harder and become a better racer." He enjoys the fact that they have introduced him to the "Old School BMX Community" where these older racers are doing things on the trails that he couldn't imagine ever doing.

He is a member of The Evolution-X team and a real hot-rod in the "Mod-Squad", 16 year old Expert group. He is State #1 and District #8.

Matt enjoys rock/rap and a big fan of the Beastie Boys.

His favorite movie is Step Brothers. "I can watch that movie all day long and still die laughing every time," he said.

He was asked if he was involved in other sports and he responded with "I do play about any sport you can think of but i'm not on any team." "I'd rather be riding my bike after school than staying 2 hours and getting yelled at by some coach."

"Chosing Matt as recipient for the 2017 DJP Award is a great choice in my opinion," Rog said. "He was visibly moved when I named him and he is a great roll model for other riders, both younger and older to look up to." "I look forward to watching him continue his BMX career and his advancement into the adult world."

This award and annual Daniel J. Plaskett Memorial Race were created in honor of Dan and his courage. Each year the Litchfield County BMX Group Inc makes a donation in Dan's name to The United Leukodystrophy Foundation.

Congratulations Matt Rowe, 2017 Recipient..