The BMX Australia National Championships are headed back to Shepparton next year and will be held from May 20-25.

For the third time in the last ten years the BMX National Championships are headed to the northern Victorian town of Shepparton.

The 2019 Australian titles will take place from May 22-26 at the Shepparton BMX club with the support of the State Government and the Greater Shepparton City Council.

Australia’s premier race week was held on the Shepparton track in 2010 and again in 2014 and will be even bigger in 2019 with the completion of the under-construction 8 metre start hill.

In 2019 early-stage planning is estimated at more than 2,000 entries for the event, alongside thousands of family and supporters preparing to make the trip to Shepparton.

BMX Australia CEO Martin Shaw said taking the event to Shepparton was a win for all stakeholders.

“We have undertaken a robust process in selecting a venue for the 2019 BMX National Championships and Shepparton made sense on so many levels,” Shaw said.

“The venue is tried and tested and has successfully held two nationals in the last decade. The track has been improved and the new 8 metre start hill will be operational for this event.

“Our feedback from riders, coaches and officials is that this venue works for an event of this stature.

“We also have a wonderful relationship with the State Government and the Greater Shepparton City Council and we are looking forward to working alongside both of them again to produce a world-class event for the BMX Australia family.”

Minister for Sport, John Eren said Shepparton had done a mighty job of positioning itself as a stand-out BMX location and the Andrews Government is proud to support major sporting events in regional Victoria.

“We’ve already invested $100,000 to make significant improvements to the track, “said Minister Eren, “and we’re happy to pitch in funding now to help run next year’s national championships.”

Greater Shepparton City Council Mayor Kim O’Keeffe said hosting the BMX National Championships in 2019 is fantastic for Greater Shepparton as this event further enhances our reputation as a leading major sporting event destination in regional Australia.

“Hosting the BMX Australia National Championships complements our exciting major events calendar over the next 12 months which already has other significant national week long sporting events including the Basketball Australia under 14 National Club Championships, School Sport Australia National Junior Soccer Championships and the Tennis Seniors Australia Australian Teams Carnival and Individual Championships,” Cr O’Keeffe said.

“We are truly excited to be welcoming over 4,000 visitors from across the country generating in excess of $3.8 million in economic stimulation for our region helping fill our city’s accommodation, our restaurants and eating establishments, our retail and tourism sectors to help keep local businesses busy and the economy strong.

“We would like to thank the Victorian Government and Shepparton Show Me for helping partner with Council to secure this event to Shepparton and Victoria.”

While planning for the event is in its infancy, the draft schedule is below:

· Monday 20th – BMXA Coaching sessions

· Tuesday 21st – Official Practice Day

· Wednesday 22nd – BMXA event – watch this space!

· Thursday 23rd – National Championships: Cruiser Classes & Sprockets

· Friday 24th – National Championships: Challenge Classes

· Saturday 25th – National Championships: Championships Day

· Sunday 26th – Reserve racing day in case of weather delays

This is subject to change and a more defined schedule, plus details of the event for Wednesday May 22 will be released closer to the event.

Shaw said that while the dates have now been ratified by BMXA and their partners – the State Government and the Greater Shepparton City Council – final sign off on the dates could not be confirmed until the release of the UCI BMX calendar in September.

“We are committed to holding this event in May next year and were mindful of the need to let our riders and their families know the venue and dates now,” Shaw said.

“BMXA is confident that UCI will not request a change in these dates however this is an important point to note.

“We ask our members to keep this in mind when making travel bookings.”

A formal launch of the championships will be held at a later date, with information about the event relayed to members as it comes to hand.