BMX has been in the news lately in the UK, its profile raised by Olympic competitor Shanaze Reade, who represented Team GB in the Womens’ BMX event. This purpose built track is almost ready for its official opening but is already in use by the next generation of riders. I haven’t had much contact with BMX culture and I felt really moved by the enthusiasm of the people I saw at the track today, in particular that of the person who asked me to take a photo of him taking a jump on the the track. I wish I was a better photographer because I haven’t done him justice with these images of him doing a circuit of the track: 1 2 3 4. This is someone else taking a jump. I think these guys are all stars, they don’t need Olympic medals to prove anything
The track is the latest venture by the Ealing Skatepark Association who succeeded in providing local skaters with a venue next to Gurnell Leisure Centre despite years of opposition. It has proved to be very popular and it was really busy today, catering for those on bikes and scooters, as well as skaters (the ones on boards as well as the inline variety). This is a video made about it by Westside, our local radio station which has been an active supporter of the skatepark.
I came away with a very positive impression of the skatepark where people from a wide age range seem welcome. There is a respectful atmosphere, everyone, whatever their age, waits their turn. The fact that it is in use right into the evening shows that places like this are an essential part of the 21st century community, as long as they are carefully sited and maintained.
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