BMX riders put new track through its paces at opening
BMX riders got their first taste of a new track in Portsmouth when it was officially opened.
Dozens of youngsters gathered to see Councillor Donna Jones at the ceremony to unveil the £80,000 track in Hilsea yesterday afternoon.
Enthusiasts waited eagerly on the side lines for the ribbon to be cut at 4pm, before descending on the tracks and showing off their skills.
Sam Day is 10 and rides for Gosport team SK Racing and went along.
He said: ‘It’s really good for BMXs. The jumps are high and you get lots of speed.
‘I’ve made loads of friends through racing and I’ll definitely be back to this track to practice more.’
His dad Kevin said: ‘I’ve been down here in the morning to use the track before the kids.
‘It’s suitable for all ages and great to see something like this so close to home.’
Peter Littlefield, 18 said: ‘I don’t really race, I do this for the fitness. It helped me get in shape.
‘To anybody thinking of coming down, just do it.
‘Don’t be shy. We’re a friendly group and we all share the same interest. To ride and have fun.’
City council leader Cllr Jones attended the event with Cosham councillor Lee Mason and Hilsea councillors Linda Symes and Frank Jonas.
Cllr Jones said: ‘We really want young people in the north of Portsmouth to have more to do.
‘When a temporary track was piloted in 2016, the support for this type of facility at Hilsea was overwhelming and I’m delighted to have been able to listen to local people and deliver on our commitment.’
Cllr Jones said: ‘It’s in the right place, near the green and away from main roads.
‘There is no-one to upset and the kids can enjoy themselves, not having to worry about noise.
‘It’s a simple idea that can be used by all ages and we believe people will get so much out of it.
‘Children have lots of energy and this is another reason to get them outside.’
The track is designed to help people of all abilities to practice their skills.
The park, just south of Hilsea Lido, took five weeks to complete and was built by Clark & Kent Contractors, the firm responsible for the London 2012 Olympic track.
It is free to use and features a mix of trails and jumps, providing an active option for children in the surrounding areas.