Steven Burke backs Pendle BMX pump track bid

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Olympic gold medallist Steven Burke from Colne has visited the sports hub named in his honour to find out more about plans for a BMX “pump track”.

Plans to bring an exciting pump track to Pendle are taking shape as an expression of interest has been submitted to Lancashire Environmental Fund.

Cycle Sport Pendle is working with local youth project volunteer Manny Bahah and Pendle Council on the second phase of the Steven Burke Sports Hub at Swinden Playing Fields, Nelson. Manny, a BMX enthusiast himself, has led the call for a pump track – a track with bumps and banked corners ideal for beginner riders and, above all, fun to ride.

Manny said: “A pump track is the kind of facility that appeals to young people. They are drawn to it as it’s fun and exhilarating to ride. It gives them the skills and abilities to either concentrate on off-road riding or, like Steven Burke, move to velodrome cycling or road racing.”

Cycle Sport Pendle chairman Neil Welsh said: “Manny’s enthusiasm and past experience of youth volunteer work brings an ideal opportunity for us to add considerably to what can be achieved at the Hub and the legacy of Steven’s achievements.

“BMX riding and mountain biking are both excellent skills for young riders. As a club we are in a position to offer coach-led sessions and recruit and retain off-road coaches.”

Plans for Phase 2 of the sports hub at Swinden include a skills area for young children, refurbishment of the existing off-road track and additional car parking. Steven Burke himself took a break from training recently to view the pump track proposals.

Steven said: “The plans are really exciting and I am looking forward to the prospect of having a go on the pump track. It’s something I have never done but I know I would have found great fun when I was starting out.”

Coun. Nadeem Ahmed, who represents outdoor recreation in Pendle, added: “With mountain biking and BMX both now Olympic disciplines, it’s wonderful Pendle could have its own pump track.

“The expression of interest to Lancashire Environmental Fund will determine whether funding for the track is likely to be successful. Following their feedback, we will pursue a number of funding streams to help finance this £95,000 project.”

To keep up to date with progress on the pump track at the Steven Burke Sports Hub, like the Pendle BMX Facebook page at www.facebook.com/PendleBMX.