The Southland BMX Club has cleared its first jump in a bid to build a new national standard track in the city.
The club’s current track at Elizabeth Park in Invercargill, built in the late 1990s, has fallen behind national standards for BMX tracks.
Last year the club indicated they wanted to move from Elizabeth Park to Surrey Park, but when the council put that idea on the backburner the club switched its focus to another location in Elizabeth Park.
Club members approached the Invercargill City Council about building a new track in Elizabeth Park, to the east of the current track and utilising the natural terrain of the hill.
Councillors at an infrastructure and services committee meeting on Wednesday appeared supportive of the idea and voted to conditionally approve the concept of re-development of the BMX track within Elizabeth Park.
The proposal would require changes to the Elizabeth Park management plan, with public consultation required.
The report to councillors says track costs will be met by the club and community funders have been approached.
Outside of club nights and training, the track would be available for use by the community.
Club president Jo Parnham, speaking at the council committee meeting, said the club had grown from 40 riders to 82 last season and the space it now occupied was not big enough.
If they built a new track it would be of a standard where national level meetings could be held, which was not the case currently.
The only way for club riders to gain regional and national experience was to travel out of Invercargill to other tracks at their own expense.
If the club was able, it would build the new track and then flatten half the current track and replace it with a concrete path for young kids to learn to ride on.
Councillor Lesley Soper said she believed the location of the new track in Elizabeth Park would alleviate vandalism at the park.
Committee chairman Cr Lindsay Thomas said a new BMX track could also “activate “a nine hold disk golf course at the park.
“It’s a great park but it’s only got the play area and aging BMX track.”
The final track proposal would need the approval of the full city council and the public would be consulted.
– The Southland Times