By Jessica Anstice
Riders, young and old, have a new destination in Cockatoo to head to after the opening of a new BMX pumps track.
After six years and one month of hard work and dedication, project initiators, Trevor and Kathy Phillips, opened the Alma Treloar Reserve track on March 21.
The townships’ BMX sub-committee had lobbied for the facility since 2014.
“There wasn’t enough for the young people to do, so we created the Cockatoo community discos and Easter egg hunts at Alma Treloar Reserve back in 2013 – these events were a great success for two years,” Ms Phillips said.
“We just wanted to give our own children, the local children and teens something more to do in Cockatoo.
“For many years there wasn’t even a decent park and we had to leave Cockatoo to go to a park or to have parties.”
The local couple, alongside Adrian Dowell, decided to design a BMX track plan and form a sub-committee.
Petitions, surveys, research and many meetings with Cardinia Shire Council continued on – helping kick start the skate and bike strategy.
“Originally, ourselves and some local tradesman and businesses, offered to donate their time and goods towards the project but due to the time it took to build the BMX pumps track this lost momentum,” she explained.
“Cr Brett Owen has been a big support for this project. We would like to send him a big thanks for his encouragement. The Cardinia council team, who had a lot to do with this project, and local members have been very supportive.
“Also the Cockatoo Township Committee, Cockatoo Community House and the Cockatoo BMX pumps track Facebook page has always had and continues to have lots of support from the community.”
When the skate and bike strategy was formed, the council began looking at all the skate and BMX facilities within Cardinia shire and Cockatoo was given top priority.
Years have passed and endless emails and advocacy has been undertaken to help make the Cockatoo BMX Pumps Track a reality.
“Having a BMX track creates a place for people to come together and it’s also great for fitness for many age groups,” she said.
“It’s a lot of fun and can be something to do on your own, with friends or a family orientated activity.
“The BMX Pumps Track gives local people another destination to ride to for a day out, this interconnects from other areas and now children can ride from the new Gembrook skate park along the Gembrook-Emerald trail.”
Ms Phillips says her, and her husband, hopes the local community will initiate a BMX pumps track social club and hold events, such as guest professional BMX riders.
“Someone could could run BMX training workshops, mountain boarding and anything else with wheels, pizza nights, barbecues and fun days out for the community,” she added.
“This will also be great for the children when the local markets and events are on in Cockatoo, such as the Australia day breakfast, Easter egg hunts, the annual Christmas party and any live music events.
“Even when the circus comes to town – it will create more for the children to do.”