The Cockburn BMX Club has a lot to celebrate and it is clear to see why!
Located in the Perth suburb of Bibra Lake, the Cockburn BMX Club is currently celebrating a decade long pursuit with confirmation of funding for a full track redevelopment valued at $2.45 million.
Commencing in early/mid 2020, the club will not only have a brand new poly-aggregate surface, the first in WA, but also a bigger start ramp, a new start gate, track lighting and other amenities such as a canteen, toilet block, carpark and clubroom.
With their current facilities starting to deteriorate and becoming increasingly labour intensive, Cockburn had been pursuing the need to upgrade their facility and are thrilled with the generous support and funding from the City of Cockburn.
Thanks to the funding, the club and their president, Leighton Pratt, is ecstatic with the news not only for his riders, but for the entire WA BMX community who will benefit from having another sensational sporting venue.
“This is unbelievable and so great for the state,” Pratt said.
“To be honest, this was the previous president Wayne Green’s baby and his dream of building a world class facility. We spent about $25k on concept drawings and took them to council letting them know what we wanted.
“The Cockburn City Council had a 15-year strategic plan and Dean Burton, who had a lot to do with getting state facilities for baseball and softball just jumped on the opportunity.
“He looked in and saw our project, finding out how much we wanted done and even though he never really had much to do with BMX, was a major motivator for the Cockburn BMX board.”
The club received the news around six month ago, but were unable to announce the news to the public until it was all locked in. Originally, the club asked for $10 million with the intention of turning the event into a world class venue playing host to the AIS, an 8m gate and a full cycling gym.
“Of a lot of it had been luck. We have had the right people in the right place at the right time and we were aiming for the stars,” Pratt said.
“We will be getting a UCI 5.9m start hill and track which is going to be on par with the East Coast’s Sleemans (the Supercross track at Sleeman Sports Complex in Brisbane).
“We will be the first in WA to have the poly-aggregate surface and the first with a pro start gate. The best part of it is that we will be open to public to come and ride. It’s unbelievable.
So, with that being read, what is the Cockburn board’s secret?
How did they get their plans across the line and why is the club such a strong united group?
“I think a lot of it comes from the committee, we are a strong team and like to be thought of as a fun committee,” Pratt explained.
“In two to three years, we have focused on becoming a fun club and it has made all the difference. It was a pretty natural change and our club secretary Merrilee (Shaw) has been instrumental with her work on our social media pages.
“Everything we do is fun, and one thing we love holding is our Cockburn Club Challenge event which is being held in November this year.
“I got tired of BMX being an individual sport and riders these days are more likely to ride team jerseys than club ones.
“So, the event has clubs turn up in teams and compete in a wide range of activities to win the most points. Points are awarded for racing, the best club tent, and in between races, we have novelty events for mums and dads.”
The goal for Cockburn is a pretty clear one.
“We, and the council, are doing everything we can to hold the 2021 nationals and with this redevelopment, we know we can,” Pratt said.