City chief busts sweet BMX tricks

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Alicia Per­era

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.”

April Armstrong, 7, Flynn Armstrong, 9, Carter Armstrong, 11, and Balen Car­bery, 10. Pic­ture: Alicia Per­era

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