herald

Wednesday 23 August 2017

BMX club dares to dream of Olympics after funding boost

Members of the Dublin County BMX Club
Members of the Dublin County BMX Club

The Dublin County BMX Club is on track to get world-class facilities at Jobstown Park.

The club, which caters for cyclists of all ages and skill levels, was first established in Cherry Orchard in an indoor facility. However, it was forced to give that up due to high rents.

The group are now working on a plan with South Dublin County Council to install an Olympic-standard BMX Track near the Tallaght Leisure Centre.

Lost

"We've lost a lot of members because of not having a track, so we only have about 25 members at the minute. However, we have people banging on the door now that the track is going up - so I'd say we'll have a huge amount of members," chairman Keith Steacy said.

"We hope to be able to take riders from ground level all the way to elite for the first time - and maybe even find a few Olympians and world champs along the way. We're on the verge of getting it going now."

A number of youth clubs and other organisations are keen to get involved.

"The club is not just for people who are already into the sport and want to go to the Olympics, it will be all inclusive. So if you just want to go out and have fun riding your bike you can," Mr Steacy said.

"This is a hugely positive addition to the area and the support of South Dublin County Council in every way has been second to none. All the councillors we have met with have supported the project, as they can see the benefit this will bring to the local community and further afield," he added.

The club has racers competing in Ireland and the UK. Both boys and girls are welcome.

Members as young as five are already racing in competitions according to the chairman.

Sinn Fein councillor Cathal King has been working with the group to secure funding for the project. He said the new track would be a "huge boost" for the area.

The council approved funding to build the track and designs have been drawn up. It is hoped work will begin on the facility shortly.

Meanwhile, Lucan Sarsfields GAA club is on the lookout for new grounds to accommodate their growing numbers.

The club - which expects to have 2,700 members on the books this year - has published a comprehensive plan for its development over the next four years.

Vision

The 2020 Vision for the club outlines short and long-term goals to help them cope with their growing numbers, which has led to a "pressing need" for facilities.

Lands for the development of new facilities, possibly alongside other sports clubs will be sought by the club which is due to set up a facilities development committee.

Further proposals include upgrading facilities, such as the development of an indoor pitch at the 12th Lock and the addition of catering facilities there. A number of improvements - such as a ball wall and portable goals - have already been funded under the sports capital grant scheme.

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