Planning for BMX track gaining traction

The wheels have started turning in the right direction for a BMX track in Salmon Arm.

The wheels have started turning in the right direction for a BMX track in Salmon Arm.

Shelley Desautels and her 11-year-old son Cole are avid BMX riders and are hopeful a track will become part of the community’s landscape.

Originally from Vernon, Desautels says they lived across the street from the track, and Cole grew up riding there.

“It is a great community builder and it’s a family sport,” says Desautels. “You can see two-year-olds on striders all the way up to guys that are 68 and still riding.”

Since 2008, when the sport was included in the Olympics, the number of riders and tracks being built has steadily increased. Desautels says the first step is looking for land  suitable for the track.

“We would need at least two acres, but three to five would be more realistic to include a parking lot,” said Desautels.

She has met with Mayor Nancy Cooper and planning and development officer Chris Larson about possible sites for the track, noting they have been helpful and cooperative in the early stages.

Klahani Park is one of the many sites being considered, but if the track were to be built there it would not be for another five to 10 years, which Desautels states is too long to wait. Desautels has proposed to find a lot in the interim to get something up and running within the next year or so.

Desautels has also been approached by Jeff Babuin, the track manager in Kamloops, stating he would be willing to help design a track for Salmon Arm.

The club would operate as a non-profit organization, and Desautels is hopeful the club would be able to operate through various grants, donations and volunteers.

The track would be strictly a BMX course and would not hold motocross events as the upkeep of the track and noise would be a problem.

Desautels is hoping to establish a group of dedicated riders that will travel to other tracks around the province as a club, with uniforms in a similar fashion as other well-known clubs.

“The idea is to become a club before there is a club,” said Desautels.

She says there is a lot of work to be done and would welcome anyone willing to help. Desautels can be reached at shuswapbmx@gmail.com.

 

Salmon Arm Observer

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