By Ewan Foskett
Thursday, June 21, 2012
A BMX club that has fielded competitors in races for almost 30 years could “die” if it can not find between £60-80,000 to build a new track.
The Royston Rockets use a track built on an old tip off Burns Road, Royston, to train and stage competitions, and to stay competitive and retain riders the chairman says they need to build a completely new course.
Phil Townsend said: “It’s getting on for 30 years old and it barely meets current standards. We need to do a complete redevelopment of it, change the shape, and the way it works so it comes up to current standards.
“Given that a number of clubs have modern tracks we would start to lose riders if we don’t do this and the club would die. It’s pretty important it gets going in the next year or so. I would like to get it going over winter.
“We are a pretty good club. There are 60 others in the country and we are in the top 15 nationally. We have won the East of England championship and we had a few riders compete in the world championship.”
The club has started raising funds internally and has gathered about £1,000 of a £10,000 target. Other funds are hoped to be found through grants and sponsorship to ensure that the 70 strong membership does not fall.
As well as hosting the Royston Rockets the track is also open to the public, and Mr Townsend says this has presented its own problems.
“We spend a lot of money maintaining the track for other people to use. It is always a problem,” he said.
“It was built for what was seen as a passing fad in the 80s. It wasn’t built to modern standards.
“We have kept it going through hard work and by resurfacing it.”
The Royston Rockets attract riders from across East Anglia, and district councillor Robert Inwood pledged to help the club in any way he can.
“I’m a big supporter of the club and I go to a lot of their functions,” he said.
“It would be devastating to Royston if the Royston Rockets can’t continue and I will be doing everything I can to help them raise the money.”