For years, the Bacchus Marsh BMX Club has had to make do with substandard facilities with members forced to travel out of town to train.
Last week, the club welcomed the beginning of works to transform its home ground at Bacchus Marsh Racecourse and Recreation Reserve into a $20 million community sporting hub, including an international competition standard BMX circuit, cricket pitch and two soccer ovals.
Bacchus Marsh BMX club president Les Stuart said there were “exciting times ahead”.
“We haven’t had any facilities in the area for many years,” Mr Stuart said. “Back in the ’80s we had a good facility but from what I understand it was demolished to make way for other sporting facilities with larger participation, but here we are now, 2018 and we’re getting a new track.”
He said the track would allow the club to increase its membership, host competitions and unearth “the next generation of champions”.
“For the past eight years we’ve been working with council and the state government to get a track with the aim of bringing the sport of BMX back to Bacchus Marsh,” Mr Stuart said.
“We’ve had to travel out of town to Ballarat, Sunbury and Wyndham Vale to participate in competitions … Once our new facility is built that will enable our riders to participate in the sport more without having to travel.”
The works are scheduled to finish June 2019.
Sports minister John Eren was on site last Thursday to break ground on the project which was made possible by a $200,000 grant as part of the state government’s community sports infrastructure fund.
Mr Eren said sport was booming in Bacchus Marsh.
“We’re proud to be building a sporting hub in the heart of Bacchus Marsh – local clubs have been crying out for better facilities and we’re getting it done,” he said.
“These upgrades will allow more locals to ride, bat or kick goals close to home, and give clubs a boost to grow and win silverware.”
A cricket oval with hard wicket, two soccer pitches and irrigation and fencing will also be built to give local clubs greater flexibility and room to play during the busy winter season.