ORANGE will be home to a competition-grade BMX track when upgrades to the Anzac Park facility begin later this year.
The Orange BMX branch of the Central West Off Road Bicycle Club has secured a $25,000 grant from NSW Sport and Recreation to go with $50,000 Orange City Council has allocated to the project.
Secretary Allison Rodgers said the club would call for tenders for the work, which includes a new starting hill, starting gate, raised corners, drainage upgrades and improvements to the access track.
“There’ll also be general upgrades to make everything a bit bigger and a bit more practical for racing,” she said.
“We’ve been applying for a long time.
“It’s a good sport for kids to get into ... we hope to see the numbers grow quite dramatically.”
The track’s long-time supporter, Orange councillor Fiona Rossiter, said the grant money was outstanding.
“It gives them the opportunity to start on the BMX track now and build it to a competition level,” she said.
“It’s an asset for the BMX club and also for the general public ... it’s good all round.”
The project’s original cost estimate of $100,000 would have included a covered starting hill, on-site electricity and a practice straight for younger riders.
Ms Rodgers said the club would finish the track’s surface and use local contractors to save money.
They plan to seek sponsorship and further grants for concreting and the $5000 needed for electricity.
Ms Rodgers said the combined BMX/mountain biking club had about 60 members that were forced to travel to Dubbo and Bathurst to race, as the Orange track did not meet BMX Australia standards.
“We should be able to get about 50 at a race meet. It will also be able to be used by kids on their way home from high school and the broader community,” she said.
The track is used by recreational riders and is a popular location for children’s birthday parties but is unable to be used for any official events, she said.
“When we fix the track up it will be able to be used by riders of all levels,” she said.