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Kids win the battle of the BMX bikes

PUBLISHED: 15:27 19 July 2001 | UPDATED: 10:21 03 March 2010

A TWO-year battle to set up a BMX dirt track for Ufford youngsters should be settled today.

Talented riders who managed to work their way into BMX magazines, found themselves thwarted at every turn when they tried to set up their own jumps near their homes.

A TWO-year battle to set up a BMX dirt track for Ufford youngsters should be settled today.

Talented riders who managed to work their way into BMX magazines, found themselves thwarted at every turn when they tried to set up their own jumps near their homes.

Twice jumps were bulldozed when they were set up in woods near Ufford football pitch and an official club had to be set up so money could be secured by the parish council to buy them land.

But today the sale is due to be completed for the parish council to buy land west of Ufford's

recreation ground that belonged to Suffolk Coastal.

As soon as the sale has officially gone through, riders from the BMX club can get digging to make their own jumps and perform their impressive acrobatics, in the sport they love.

Tom Leith, from Saxon Way, Woodbridge, is 16 and has been involved in the fight for their own track right from the beginning.

The Woodbridge School pupil said: "It frustrated us enormously when the jumps were bulldozed down in the woods.

"We were doing something creative and did not ask for anything. All we wanted was a piece of land where we were not destroying wildlife or trees – in the end we had to form a club to get any money.

"It is a real relief to get this as we have had to ride in the streets and we get told off for that."

The group of youngsters had been cycling for around four years and as there was nowhere for them to ride nearby, they often went into Ipswich and Rushmere. But this meant they constantly had to get lifts from their parents, so they started looking nearer home for somewhere to ride.

They set up their own jumps in woods in Ufford by digging into the land but they were twice got rid of, even though the riders said that they were not disturbing anyone.

Tom's father Dr Iain Leith became chairman of the club that has around ten members.

He said: "The jumps were more or less in a clearing and people living nearby did not mind them being there.

"Walkers would stop and watch them – they had a run up and could jump around 20 feet into the air."

Dr Leith fully supported Tom and his older brother, 19-year-old Edward, in their quest.

He said: "They had a tremendous love of what they were doing and there was great

camaraderie between them all.

"They were not doing drugs and they were not out drinking.

"It is a monumental relief to now be able to enjoy themselves without breaking the law. It is so frustrating that it has dragged on for this long."

Once the sale has finally gone through the riders will have to level out the ground before they can start digging their jumps. This could prove to be quite a task so anyone with a digger who could help can contact Georgina Proctor on 01394-460210.

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