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BMX dream draws nearer

Friday 5 May 2023 | Written by Al Williams | Published in Local, National

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BMX dream draws nearer
Matting goes down with the first layer of fill being spread on top at the Ngatangiia site. 23050325 23050320

Grand plans are turning into reality for BMX in the Cook Islands as there is heavyweight support behind a track.

Former New Zealand BMX representative and Cook Island BMX Association members Damien Beddoes, Bruce Northwood and Tony Takurua, with support from Matt Wyatt, have made steady progress over recent months in a combined effort to deliver a new BMX (Bicycle Motocross) track to Rarotonga.

There has been more work undertaken at the Ngatangiia site in recent weeks including the laying of matting with a first layer of spread placed on top.   

Beddoes said the New Zealand High Commission to the Cook Islands had provided a community grant to support the development of the BMX pump track.

Joe Heather and T&M Heather had supplied fill for the base foundation of the track while Infrastructure Cook Islands is supporting the development with the use of machinery.

Beddoes said Chris Vale Triad is supporting the development to seal the track and Oceania Cycling is supporting with a grant to purchase bikes for youths. Ride Rarotonga is also supporting with the supply of those bikes.  

Beddoes had earlier said he expected the project to be completed by March but there had been some delays as South City Contractors was called in to work on repairs relating to the cyclone and flooding in Auckland earlier this year.

That meant a new construction date of August.

“Fill will continue to be delivered on site, and then from the first week of August, South City Contractors arrives to develop the site, which will then be completed by the end of August.”

Beddoes said he is still looking for sponsorship and support for essential components to protect the track, completion of the parking area, storage for the bikes and equipment.

“There’s more to come, once the pump track is successfully launched, there’s room for skate components, and the main item, the full BMX track, to make this a complete park for the kids.”

The project was initiated a couple of years ago by Tony Takurua, a Cook Islander based in New Zealand, heavily involved in BMX in NZ, a New Zealand Cycling selector, and national constructor of BMX tracks throughout New Zealand.

Three of his children Holly, Trent and Josh have represented New Zealand nationally and internationally, raced in the world championships, and Trent has represented NZ at the Olympics. His eldest son Damien has represented New Zealand and the Cook Islands in rugby league.

Estimated costs will run into the hundreds of thousands, and the group has pooled wider support from international groups and individuals to move the project forward.