City chief busts sweet BMX tricks
The Dampier BMX track on Hampton Oval was opened on Sunday after years of development, and it was already proving a hit.
The community launch had a strong turnout of about 60 children and their families keen to test run the jumps and turns of the “pocket park” dirt track for the first time.
Karratha BMX club members kicked off the launch with demo rides before a series of competitive time trials were held for local youngsters.
The track was an initiative of the Dampier Community Association. Vice-president Georgia Evans, who has been involved with the project from its inception, said she was proud to see the major long-term project finally completed.
“The DCA has been working on this since about 2011, 2012, so it’s been a long time coming, and lots of different DCA committee members and community members have worked on it over the years. So it’s a fantastic to see it up here today,” she said.
Ms Evans said “out-of-character Pilbara rain” earlier this month had slightly delayed track construction, but “we got there in the end”.
The City of Karratha funded the track through the Annual Community Associations Development Scheme and Rio Tinto granted the lease and contributed to site works.
DCA acknowledged its support with a sponsors-only opening ride featuring City of Karratha chief executive Chris Adams and Rio Tinto rail maintenance general manager Jen MacKenzie, with City Deputy Mayor and Dampier ward councillor John Lally acting as the starter after opting against riding himself.
Mr Lally said the City knew BMX tracks were popular with children across the City area and was glad to support one in Dampier that could be used by all ages.
“I think the important thing is it’s an activity for the older children as well as the younger, because we’ve got lots of playgrounds and stuff (in Dampier),” he said.
“The (track) in Karratha has worked really well, and I think it’s all about keeping the kids engaged after school and in their spare time, so they’ll have a lot of fun on this.”
Ms Evans said the track was also part of a broader vision for Hampton Oval.
“I think … the amount of community support and the excitement of the kids during the build phase, demonstrates how valuable an asset it’s going to be,” she said. “And we hope (for) visitors as well, because it’s located at the end of Hampton Oval with this amazing vista, so we’re hoping it becomes a real attraction.”