Monday 01 August 2016
The next generation of BMX riders were given a first look at the site of a planned £2million BMX track today (Monday) exactly two years before the facility is first used at the Glasgow 2018 European Championships.
The new facility, which will be built in Knightswood Park in the north west of Glasgow, will be the first and only world championship and Olympic standard BMX track in Scotland and the second in the UK, outside of Manchester. It is the only new venue being built ahead of the Glasgow 2018 European Championships and will complete the city’s portfolio of cycle sport venues as well as increasing the profile of cycling across the country.
The Olympic and World Championship standard track will be the new home of the Western Titans BMX Club and will also be used by local clubs, schools and community groups. It will first be used in major competition during the European Championships – an exciting new multi-sport event that brings together the existing European Championships of athletics, aquatics, cycling, gymnastics, rowing and triathlon and a new golf team event.
The European Championships is being staged for the first time in 2018 in a partnership between the Host Cities of Glasgow and Berlin. This sporting partnership will create a new event on the world stage every four years elevating the status of European Champions and attracting a potential television audience of 1.03 billion with a wider audience via digital platforms.
As part of the inaugural European Championships around 3,025 athletes will visit Scotland for six events (aquatics, cycling, golf, gymnastics, rowing and triathlon) while a further 1,500 athletes will compete in Berlin as part of the European Athletics Championships. The event will build on Glasgow and Scotland’s track record of hosting major international events including the 2014 Commonwealth Games, 2014 Ryder Cup and 2015 World Gymnastics Championships.
Aileen Campbell, Scottish Government Minister for Sport, said: “I’m delighted that the Scottish Government has been able to support the 2018 European Championships. This is a fantastic concept for European sport, so it’s tremendous that we can be at the forefront of that, welcoming all these world-class athletes to Glasgow, and other venues across Scotland. We have a growing reputation when it comes to hosting major events like this, and I’m sure the people of Scotland will embrace these championships as only they can.”
Councillor Frank McAveety, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “With exactly two years to go excitement is building ahead of the Glasgow 2018 European Championships, which will see our city shine on the global stage once again. It is a testament to our recent investment in world-class sports facilities that the only venue being built ahead of Glasgow 2018 is the new BMX track at Knightswood Park which will be a lasting legacy for future generations.”
Bob MacFarlane, Events Manager for Scottish Cycling, said: “We are delighted that Glasgow will be hosting the European Championships – bringing with it a world-class BMX track in Knightswood Park. We work to develop cycle sport through clubs and events; major events such as the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games have already left a lasting legacy with venues such as the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome. However, to be able to keep developing the sport, it is important to have good facilities across the disciplines and this new BMX track will help to do this. To create world-class athletes, you need world-class facilities.”
Western Titans member, Harrison Bell (8), who is currently ranked 4th in the world in his age category, said: “I am looking forward to the new track so much as I’ll be able to go every day and train and ride a world-class track right on my doorstep. I’ll also get to watch my heroes in action at the Glasgow 2018 European Championships which will be inspiring. I hope it’ll help make BMX more popular in Scotland which will mean more riders that I can compete against. For my own racing development – the sooner it gets here the better.”