Could Corby's Adrenaline Alley land BMX Freestyle Olympic park investment?
British Cycling has announced a new long-term ambition to grow BMX Freestyle built on Olympic success
Adrenaline Alley could be in line to be the new long-term home for the Olympic standard park for British Cycling's BMX Freestyle team and be given a share of community investment.
The move comes on the back of the success of Team GB's Corby-based athletes - Olympic champion Charlotte Worthington and bronze medallist Declan Brooks - in their sport's debut event at the Tokyo Games.
British Cycling has set out its new long-term ambition to grow BMX Freestyle built on their Olympic success with a million-pound community facility investment and the establishing of a BMX freestyle commission.
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The location of an Olympic standard park to be used by Charlotte and Declan will be decided in the coming months, with Corby a potential venue.
Dani Every, British Cycling delivery director, said: “BMX freestyle, thanks to the heroic performances of Charlotte and Declan at the Tokyo Olympics, has captured the attention of the whole country so I am delighted to be announcing our ambitions for this exciting discipline of cycle sport
“With the support of a commission which features expertise from the BMX freestyle community across facilities, coaching, judging and former elite riders, we have begun the serious business of ensuring the hard-earned achievements of Charlotte and Declan deliver a long-term legacy.
“Our plans are aimed at producing medallists of the future but – just as importantly – also encouraging sustainable growth of BMX freestyle at community level and providing, for the first time, a structure of national competition. BMX freestyle, as well as BMX racing, are vitally important to British Cycling as we work to fulfil our commitment to make cycling more accessible and more relevant to more people in more communities across the country.”
British Cycling's 'secret' replica freestyle park where Charlotte and Declan had trained has been dismantled and is in the process of finding its long-term home.
A spokesman for Adrenaline Alley said: "Such exciting times for BMX freestyle! British Cycling has established a BMX Freestyle commission including expertise across the discipline to guide the national governing body’s support of the development of the sport. Our CEO Mandy Young is a member of the commission and our marketing manager Harry Tucker is the commission chair."
The BMX freestyle commission will pool expertise across the discipline to guide the national governing body’s support of the development of the sport with five aims - of working with existing organisers, facilities and partners to develop a national competition structure from 2022; create education and training opportunities for coaches, judges and event organisers; introduce a network of talent development centres in 2022 linked to facilities; engage with the BMX freestyle community to support grassroots development and grow awareness of how young people and adults can get involved and work in partnership with facilities to encourage more female riders and ensure access for local communities.
Thanks to the Places to Ride fund, in partnership with Sport England and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, over £1m of investment has already been invested in facilities across five sites - including in Corby - and paid for the replica Olympic training ramps.
The investments include a mix of facilities to support participation, talent development and events at Adrenaline Alley in Priors Haw Road as well as at Asylum Skatepark in Sutton-in-Ashfield, Junction 4 Skatepark in Darwen and the Olympic standard Freestyle Park and modular ramps to support demonstration and taster events.
A long-term home for the Olympic standard park used by Charlotte and Declan will be decided in the coming months, working with the BMX Freestyle commission with the aim of supporting participation, talent development and event activity.
British Cycling BMX Freestyle Commission chair Harry Tucker said: “The commission will be working with colleagues at British Cycling over the coming months to develop a long-term strategy aimed at building, supporting and growing interest across all aspects of BMX freestyle including park, street, dirt, vert and flatland.
“I am delighted at the way British Cycling have sought the involvement of the freestyle community – drawing on our insight and knowledge and combining that with their expertise in sport development and ability to secure funding support.”
Andy Farr, British Cycling head of business planning and transformation, said: “Our insight and community-led approach to facility investment means BMX freestyle represents a significant opportunity to encourage more people to try the sport with the right funding in the right places.
“The five facilities plus the modular freestyle ramps we have supported via the Places to Ride fund will provide important community, regional and national infrastructure to support development of the sport and provide opportunities across the pathway from recreation to talent development and events.”
Anyone in the BMX freestyle community who would like to become a member of the commission can email [email protected]