Work starts on $6 million world-standard BMX track
A ground-breaking ceremony was held yesterday alongside the site where South Australia’s only international-standard BMX track will be built.
Work is set to begin on the $6.05 million Sam Willoughby International BMX Track at the Glenthorne National Park, Ityamaiitpinna Yarta, thanks to significant investment by the City of Marion, City of Onkaparinga and state and federal governments.
The track—named after former World Champion BMX rider and Olympic silver medalist Sam Willoughby of Happy Valley BMX Club—will form part of a sports hub with a new $7 million Southern Soccer Facility (funded by City of Marion and state and federal governments).
The BMX facility will include a floodlit track—the design personally endorsed by Sam—clubrooms and carparking, and become home to Cove and Happy Valley BMX Clubs.
The hub, which will be a new home for an estimated 900 soccer players and BMX riders, will be completed later this year and built by SA company Partek Construction and Interiors, creating 85 jobs during construction.
Sam Willoughby, who started his BMX career at the current Happy Valley track, recorded a video message from his home in California for the ground-breaking ceremony.
“This is going to be one of the greatest BMX facilities in the world,” he said.
“I’ve been particularly involved in the design process of the track itself and I’m very excited about what we’ve come up with; it’s got something for everyone.
“To think there’s going to be a world-class BMX facility that has the ability to host international events in our home city is something that I never could have dreamt of as a kid.
“It’s going to raise the level of our local BMX riders. Everyone from around the world is going to want to come and use this facility”.
City of Onkaparinga Mayor Erin Thompson said project is another example of local and state government working together to deliver facilities the community has told us they need.
“Promoting healthy active lifestyles is a key focus for the City of Onkaparinga and having this facility on our doorstep will contribute to that, while also helping to identify and nurture future sporting stars”.
City of Marion Mayor Kris Hanna said the world-class facilities will benefit hundreds of soccer players and BMX riders.
“BMX will be on the international stage in the City of Marion,” he said.
“Local soccer players and BMX riders of all ages will train and compete in new venues. We are addressing a shortfall of quality facilities in the area and catering for increased demand.
“I thank the State Government for its significant contribution to both projects. I also thank Onkaparinga Council for its funding towards the BMX track and the Federal Government for its contributions to both projects.”
City of Onkaparinga is providing $750,000 towards the Sam Willoughby BMX Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) Track, with City of Marion ($1.75 million), the state government ($3.55 million) and the federal government ($100,000 via its Move it AUS – Community Sport Infrastructure Grant from Sport Australia) providing the rest.