'End of an era' as BMX club hosts last race on track after 41 years
- Credit: Denise Bradley
Ipswich BMX Club has bid farewell to its track with a final race after more than £300,000 was raised to fund a new course and facilities.
Riders raced round the club's Landseer Park track, which has been home to the club for 41 years, for the last time on Saturday.
Proposals to revamp the site were given unanimous approval by Ipswich Borough Council's planning committee last month.
The project will see a new track laid and will bolster facilities with a clubhouse providing much needed toilets, coaching and meeting space.
Members of Ipswich BMX Club have raised £315,000 for the scheme over the last few years, with grants donated by Ipswich Borough Council, British Cycling, People's Health Trust and Sport England.
It is hoped that work on the new track and clubhouse can start on June 7.
Tracey Reeve, club secretary, said she was looking forward to riders making the most of the new facilities when they open.
She said: "The new track has taken two years to get to where we are now. We've raised £315,000 and it's been an achievement by the whole club, not just by one person.
""We go to other tracks and we can't compete because we don't have a track that allows us to train. This is an immense change for us - it's going to be incredible.
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"The new facilities will take us to the next step and beyond. For our current riders, this is an incredible opportunity to develop further."
John Lillingstone, a coach at the club, said the track had a lot of history and many members were sad to see it be replaced.
He added: "For the club, it's an end of an era. We've been here since 1980 so there's been 41 years of racing.
"It's a massive day. There's a lot of memories and a lot of history for a lot of people - not just here, but all around the region and the country.
"It's exciting for a lot of people as well in that most of us have not raced in over a year.
"We were all a bit excited last night - no one slept."