National standard BMX track plan boost

Southland BMX Club member Fairlane McEwan-Geange (13)  races on the track at Elizabeth Park....
Southland BMX Club member Fairlane McEwan-Geange (13) races on the track at Elizabeth Park. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Invercargill might soon have a national standard BMX track.

The Southland BMX Club plan to develop the Elizabeth Park track got a boost this week after the Invercargill City Council infrastructure and services committee approved the project.

It will still need to be approved by the full council and public consultation will be required.

The proposal is to construct a multi-level bike area and a pump track on national standards.

Southland BMX Club secretary Ngarita Te Patu said the track at Elizabeth Park was falling well below the required standards.

Members of the club struggled to advance because of the track conditions, she said.

"We want to be proactive and also build something which would make Southland proud."

The standard for most tracks around the country was a start ramp of 4.5m to 5.5m with a covered staging area on the top of the ramp with enough room to hold two waiting motos (heats) of riders.

The berms or corners were sealed.

At present, the track had a 2.7m ramp with a gentle gradient, and the corners were not sealed and required a lot of maintenance, she said.

"The current track is great for the general community and our beginner/intermediate riders but once they have attained the skills to confidently ride, the track there is no avenue to progress skills beyond."

She said the club had 82 members, ranging in age from 4 to 49.

She wanted to boost numbers to more than 100 members to make use of the new track.

The track would be a community asset.

The club would provide helmets and bikes to residents who wanted to give it a go.

"We believe that we have a number of riders who are capable of future NZ rankings if they have the facilities to advance their training."

Crs Leslie Soper and Toni Biddle praised the project, saying it would be a great asset for the community and would also generate more activity at Elizabeth Park.

The club would fund part of the proposal and the intention was to obtain funding from community groups to assist with the development of the track and facilities.

The cost was estimated at $418,000, but this was based on quotes and costs experienced by other BMX clubs.

A designer would be engaged to design the track if the council approved the plan at its meeting next week.

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