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Safer starts for BMX races

27 November 2012

Safer starts for BMX races

Christchurch BMX Club has received $70,000 from the New Zealand Community Trust (NZCT) so it can purchase a new racing start gate. As well as ensuring accurate starts during BMX races, the new gate will be much safer than the club’s old gate, which fell expectantly and broke a race official’s toes during a race meeting in February.

The new start gate will be ready to use in competitions from January 2013.

Unlike other clubs in the region, Christchurch BMX Club’s track in Hornby wasn’t too badly damaged during the earthquakes. This means that the club is hosting extra riders from places like Kaiapoi for the time being.

John Edwards, Christchurch BMX Club Track Manager, says that with more riders using the track, the club is paying particular attention to safety requirements. Unlike the old gate, this new one will extend right to the ground, leaving no room for feet to get trapped under it.

“The start gate sits at the top of a four metre hill,” says Mr Edwards. “As well as ensuring accurate race starts, the gate will give our young riders confidence and experience doing automatic race starts. They’ll need this if they are to compete at national competitions. We have riders as young as three years taking part in competitions and the gate will also help them by making race starts less intimidating.”

As with most sports clubs, finding financial support – especially in this order of magnitude - can be quite a challenge. Mr Edwards says the club members are incredibly grateful for this grant and want to thank NZCT for its help.

NZCT’s Canterbury Regional Advisory Committee chairman, Stephen Boock, says the trust is mindful of returning funds to the community where they were raised.

“We understand the financial pressure most Canterbury sports clubs are under at the moment,” says Mr Boock. “We recognise that many clubs, like Christchurch BMX, are at full capacity having taken on extra members from earthquake-affected areas. We want to acknowledge the help they’re providing to their community, by giving them a bit of financial support in return.”

NZCT is one of the largest funders of amateur sport in New Zealand and is proud of the contribution it makes to communities and sports across the country. NZCT grants help keep sport accessible and affordable for many thousands of Kiwis every year.

– Ends –

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