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New $3.5 million BMX track to be named after South Australian Olympic legend

New $3.5 million BMX track to be named after South Australian Olympic legend
August 29, 2016

The new international competition standard BMX track to be built in Adelaide’s south will be named after Sam Willoughby, in honour of the South Australian Olympic medallist and world champion.

The track - located in O'Halloran Hill - will be called the Sam Willoughby International BMX Track.

The South Australian Government is investing $2 million to build the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) standard BMX track. The Marion and Onkaparinga councils have each contributed $750,000 towards the project.

Without having a UCI BMX track in South Australia, riders have had to move interstate in order to further develop their skills and progress towards elite pathways.

BMX world champion Willoughby, who competed in both the Rio and London Olympics, winning silver at the 2012 Games, commented “as a kid I used to dig bike jumps in these empty lots with my brother as we chased our dreams of making it to the top of the BMX world.

“When I heard the news that a world class facility would be built in Adelaide, I was ecstatic.

“Adelaide has had a rich racing pedigree for many years now so the thought of World Class events and a place for the future as well as myself to come and train and compete on home soil is just what the State and country needs for BMX.”

South Australian Recreation and Sport Minister Leon Bignell added “Sam Willoughby is a fantastic athlete and a great role model for young riders. I can’t think of a better or more inspiring person to name the new track after.”

Minister Bignell has also announced that 32 clubs in Adelaide’s south would be sharing in $250,000 in Active Club Program grants.

In total, more than 200 sport clubs across South Australia will share in the grants totalling $1.9 million. The funding is in addition to this year’s South Australian budget announcement in which more than $40 million was pumped in to grassroots sports and facility upgrades across the State.

BMX participation in South Australia has doubled in the past five years and about half the young riders come from the southern suburbs.

Image: Sam Willoughby, courtesy of Redline Bicycles.

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