BMX club looks to raise £200,000 for new track in Ipswich
Ipswich BMX Club is looking to raise £200,000 to upgrade its track - as it celebrates its 39th anniversary.
The club, which is based at Landseer Park, wants to update its course so it is suitable for national and European events, and to then build facilities, including a kitchen and toilets, to make it more accessible for the whole community.
Tracey Reeve, voluntary project lead at the club, said the BMX track has so much to offer, especially for young people.
"This is the only proper full BMX track in Suffolk," she said.
"The track we have at the moment is built to old specifications so we need it updated."
Mrs Reeve said they have already received support from Sports England, which has pledged £50,000 towards the project, as well as Gainsborough Community Forum, which has set aside £40,000.
The BMX club are also trying to raise £3,000 through crowdfunding to pay for a track design.
Tracey said the BMX club would like to get even more people, especially young men and women, into the sport.
"We want to work with the wider community to get them involved," she said.
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"We want to be able to hire out BMX bikes and equipment, helmets and safety equipment, so we can encourage schools and academies to get involved too.
"We can give something for the children who hang about on the streets with nothing to do, to encourage them to get into sport rather than getting involved in gangs and with knives.
"They sometimes don't have an outlet where they can just let themselves go while gaining discipline and some structure in their lives.
"They can have a bit of friendly competition and understand you can't always win.
"There's so much they can gain from the sport."
The club is in discussions with Ipswich Borough Council as to where the new track will be built within the park.
Once it is built, they plan to install toilet and kitchen facilities to increase the number of people who can get involved.
"We want to try and encourage more girls into BMX," she said.
"The toilet facilities are key to that. There is a real need for this new track."
To donate to the track design fund, visit ww.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/bmxtrackbuild2019