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Champ breathes new life into BMX track

Rider ready: Isabelle Evans tests the upgrades to the Leongatha BMX track with her father Nathan Evans who is working towards creating a new club for the town.

A NEWCOMER to the region is leading the charge to restore one of Leongatha’s most under used facilities, the Leongatha BMX track.
Having lived in Korumburra for only eight months, former state and national title competitor and BMX Victoria A pro, Nathan Evans, wants to get the Leongatha track upgraded to show the possibilities of having a local BMX club.
With the support of South Gippsland Shire Council, Mr Evans gave up his annual leave to begin stage one of the track upgrade.
Mr Evans said the original track was built in the 1980s and is not wide or long enough to meet racing regulation to reach competition standard and become affiliated with BMX Victoria.
A landscaper by trade with prior experience in track building, and a former president of the Frankston Sharks BMX club, Mr Evans has a range of experience in BMX.
“The ultimate goal is to set up a committee for a new BMX club and after that we have classes, coaching and competitions,” he said.
“But you first we need a track and there is one ready to get up and running with community support.
“I just want to get the word out there that if anyone can get on board, this is a fantastic sport to get into. It’s also a great boost for the town if we have inter-club competitions in the future.”
Mr Evans said driving his daughter Isabelle to the nearest tracks in Frankston or Cranbourne didn’t make sense when Leongatha already had a track.
Leongatha Garden Supplies provided landfill for stage one. About 1500 cubic metres more landfill is needed to complete stage two of the upgrade.
Council’s recreation coordinator Ian Murphy said in the past years, the condition of the track had declined as jumps and berms eroded and lost shape.
“Nathan got in touch with us regarding his desire to improve the track,” he said.
“Getting the track developed to competition level will require more volunteers and participants to come on board and develop a club.
“The priority for council is to provide a safe facility and hopefully renew interest from local riders. Council has a strong record of supporting sport and recreation clubs to improve facilities.”
Council CEO Tim Tamlin and Leongatha contractor Brenton Williams met at the track recently to discuss the work Mr Williams and Mr Evans have been doing on the track.
Mr Tamlin said, “For the last 12 months Nathan has been in discussion with council over his vision for improvements to the track.
“We’ve actually been really lucky to have someone as knowledgeable as he is to give advice on how to get the best out of what we’ve got here.”
Council recently engaged Mr Williams’ company BJ Earthmoving to work with Mr Evans to begin reshaping the track.
“I’m amazed at the difference they’ve made, thanks in large part to a generous donation of material from the Knox family that has helped with reshaping the start mound, some new jumps and the berms,” Mr Tamlin said.
“Now there is a significant amount of material from the new United petrol station on Anderson Street that will be used in the next stage of the redevelopment. That’s expected to get underway in the next few weeks.”
Mr Murphy said, “Due to the dry conditions, it will take some time for the track to compact down to a good quality riding surface, but Nathan is committed to continuing to work on the track to provide a top quality facility.
“In the meantime the track will still provide a much improved opportunity for local riders to get out and experience what BMX is about.
“Since the inclusion of BMX in the Olympics at the 2008 Beijing Games, interest and participation in the sport has grown rapidly.
“Council will continue to work with Nathan to support his dreams of a local club to run coaching and come and try days at the track.
“If there is enough local interest, this could expand to hosting races and events at the site. This is another fantastic example of the wonderful work undertaken by many dedicated volunteers to provide sport and recreation opportunities for our community right across South Gippsland.”
To join the committee or for more information on Leongatha BMX visit the Facebook page “Leongatha BMX” or contact Mr Evans on 0400 842 936.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=27360

Posted by on Feb 5 2019. Filed under Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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