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Wicklow could soon be home to ‘best BMX pump track in country’

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John Kelly and Alison Keogh of County Wicklow Partnership.

John Kelly and Alison Keogh of County Wicklow Partnership.

The Murrough site for the proposed pump track.

The Murrough site for the proposed pump track.

Action on a pump track similar to the one planned for Wicklow town.

Action on a pump track similar to the one planned for Wicklow town.

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John Kelly and Alison Keogh of County Wicklow Partnership.

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PLANS are underway to locate what has been described as “the best BMX Pump track in the country” at the Murrough in Wicklow town, beside the skatepark and playground currently based there.

The initiative is being led by John Kelly, an Irish native who only recently moved to Wicklow town just at the start of the pandemic.

He started to regularly bring his two kids, aged five and six years old, down to the skateboard park at the Murrough, and felt it would also be an ideal location for a BMX pump track.

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“I saw what’s on offer and thought a pump track would be brilliant for the area. Cllr Mary Kavanagh got back to me and was immediately very supportive,” said John.

“I know her late sister, Cllr Pat Kavanagh, played a major role in securing the skatepark for the Murrough, so it was something close to Mary’s heart.

“Dave Shannon and the Town Team in Wicklow soon came on board and have been hugely supportive, as have Wicklow County Partnership and Wicklow County Council, including the Community, Cultural and Social Development SPC.

“The plan would be to hold official competitions at the site and it will certainly be the best Pump Track in the country. It will be wonderful to have something of such high quality in Wicklow town.”

A BMX pump track is a looped sequence of rollers and banked turns designed to maximise momentum so a cyclist can ride the course with minimal pedalling.

It’s thought to be one of the more inclusive options for cycling activities.

The project is eligible for LEADER funding covering 75 per cent of the costs, while the remainder will be made up by funding from Wicklow County Council and private donations.

John added: “We would be hopeful that the project would be delivered by Spring of next year. The idea is to make it available for all, including kids who may have a disability or mobility issues. You have a good Pump Track at Shannon and Belmont has nice little Pump Track as well.

“The idea is that it would cater to both beginners and more experienced cyclists. It has the potential to be a truly brilliant facility.”

The application for planning is progressing and should be ready to go through the Part 8 planning process shortly. Cllr Mary Kavanagh has also been very supportive of the plans.

She said: “There was a bit of scrubland left over from the playpark which was built into a mound for cyclists.

“Now it has the potential to be made much bigger, with some extra land. We are trying to cater for all ages and inclusivity is one of the key aspects, and the lower level of the track can be used by kids who may have a disability.

“It will have great potential and different events and competitions could be held. Loads of kids will use it, especially given its locations by the skatepark and playpark. It will be a huge addition to Wicklow town.”

BMX is on the rise in Ireland. The first full BMX track was opened in Ratoath, Co Meath in November 2011 . Now there are tracks in Lucan, cork, Lisburn, Ballinrobe, and down the road from Wicklow in Courtown, where rounds of the National BMX Series are held.


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