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Sport
BMX track is a recreational boon

A brand new BMX biking track is fast on its way.

The track, which will be situated behind the Old Boys Club at the new Sports Complex near Hermanus High School, aims to be a fun yet competitive new venture for the town.

Rickus “Rick” Muller of the Overberg BMX Club and fellow club committee members Gys Malan and Paul Gibbings had thought about this initiative for a long time before finally deciding to make it a reality this year.

“The reason we started this project is that Hermanus needed more variety,” Muller said. “Mountain biking is already big here, so we deemed it fit to start this project here.”

Not everybody is into mainstream sports such as rugby or cricket, he points out, and BMXing can make a difference here. “Also, BMXing is a good way to start skills development,” Muller says. “Some of the best mountain bikers have some sort of BMX background.”

To get this pioneering project off the ground in Hermanus, he started meeting and engaging with various role-players, including the Hermanus Sports Club. He presented the idea to start a BMX track to the club.

“They approved of and liked the idea,” Muller said. “Others were also receptive to the initiative and, together, we started the fundraising so that construction could begin.”

Muller said construction started only this month, with much planning and design that went before. He also said donations and funding will determine when this project will be completed.

At the moment, most of the big earth works (shifting hundreds of cubic metres of soil) have been done. “We would very much like to finish a section of the track before the December holidays, so that it can be enjoyed by both locals and holidaymakers,” Muller said.

He added if the team can get the track done to a degree then some real races can be hosted there by next winter.

But, much still needs to be done before the track can be used. “This project is big,” Muller says. “There are almost 2 000 square metres of track surface, and the entire track needs to be covered in a gravel topping. There is other equipment, such as a fully automated start-gate with lighting, that will also need to be installed.”

However, all this essential equipment isn’t cheap, so the BMX Club will take things as they come.

“The track will be open to everyone, but there will be an honesty box system, applicable for people who are not part of the BMX club,” Muller says.

He says when races start officially, club members will have to pay a discounted race fee.

“Training will be provided for existent BMXers and newcomers on practice days,” Muller says, “and we would also like to get some current and ex-professional riders in for advice and skills training.”

He and the other club members have big hopes for this up-and-coming project, and reports that club races will be held over weekends, but as soon as the track is up to standard, the club’s goal is to host the national championships on home soil.

“Riders from the Overberg will be sent to participate in the SA champs and international races,” Muller says, “that is, if they qualify, of course.

“Also, our ultimate goal is just for everyone to have fun. For most of my youth I was involved in BMX racing, and there had always been a good family-community spirit, something I would like to recreate in Hermanus.”

The project also has some educational value for learners who wish to join the programme.

“When everything about the track has been sorted we will look at businesses or people donating bikes, to provide kids who can’t afford to buy them with a bike. But the bikes will obviously stay at the track.

“There will be some rules for children who want to join the programme. We will need to see their academic results, so in that way we know they are focusing on their schoolwork as well.”

Currently, The BMX club does not have any major sponsors and would like some businesses or people to approach them. The equipment needed is expensive and any donation will help.

For more information on the new facility or the BMX Club, or to donate bikes, people should feel free to contact Muller on 064 785 9417, Gys Malan on 061 782 5950 or Paul Gibbings on 079 606 1995.

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