BMX Test Rides Macarthur's New World Class Track
Written on the 16 September 2020 by SWSAS
Image: SWSAS BMX Manager Anne-Marie Moubarak shows athletes video feedback of their gate starts during the recent BMX squad session at the new Macarthur Track.
After what seemed like an eternity away from the dirt tracks of the BMX world, the South West Sydney Academy of Sport (SWSAS) BMX squad athletes recently returned, to test ride Macarthur's new World Class track in Elderslie.
The SWSAS BMX squad, like the majority of our regions sporting community, was forced into a two-month break from the track due to COVID-19 restrictions. However unlike other sporting organisation's, the Academy was able to continue to develop athletes knowledge and understanding of their sport across a number of online training opportunities.
Under strict "Return to Ride" guidelines, the Academy athletes were excited to be one of the first organisation's to experience the new BMX facilities provided by Camden Council.
"After the short break, it was amazing to see the riders still sharing that squad-like mentality with each other", said Academy Acting Sports Programs Manager Daniel Currinckx, who added, "Covid-19 has affected community sport within our region in many different ways, we are thankful that we have a gradual return to normality within our Academy squads."
The first BMX squad session back began with a check-up from Head Coach Cara Wilde and Squad Manager Anne Marie Moubarak to see how the athletes have been keeping up with their Academy training and skill development.
This check-up also reminded athletes of the focus the SWSAS coaches and the squad have placed on Strength and Conditioning, as well as what they can do for their recovery. There was a consistent response across the squad of their desire to go to the gym and develop their body for the demands of BMX, having been away from the track.
"Unfortunately, due to Covid-19 restrictions, we were unable to offer our squad their annual trip away to Queensland, so to be able to have exclusive access to the track was greatly receive by our athletes" said Currinckx.
The new track layout was clearly in the athlete's minds as they exploded onto the track as soon as the gates dropped. The athletes could not wait to get a feel for the track with a couple of laps to start, however, it was only short lived as the Coaches had prioritised their training with hill sprints for a warm-up.
"It was evident after speaking with the Coaches that this new track is a massive advantage for the Macarthur Region and will help propel these BMX riders to the next level." said Currinckx, adding, "They will be able to combine training with the new and old track layouts to create a more diverse program for the squad". The Macarthur BMX complex now boasting two unique tracks differing in the amount and style of berms and rhythms, offering a range of benefits to the riders as they train and compete.
Even more exciting for the SWSAS squad was news that the track is still 'under construction', with Camden Council to add an eight-metre hill start with a pro gate to top it off. With this addition it is hoped that the Macarthur region will be able to host World Cup events at this track and become the centrepiece for BMX riders.
"The growth for the sport is a strong pathway to developing BMX riders and will endeavour to create a strong line of pro riders in the region" said Currinckx.
SWSAS coaches used their expert knowledge, creating unique training opportunities by sectioning parts of the track to focus on training specifics and testing each riders' skills. The Athletes welcomed this challenge as their smiling faces continued throughout the day, they didn't let the moment go to waste.
Jye Furner was given control to initiate part of the session himself, with the senior Academy squad member directing several of the gate sessions and even made the squad go longer than expected before a break for lunch. These sessions also allowed the coaching staff to implement the use of technology into the training, with coaches providing video feedback on the athletes starts.
The athletes impressed with being able to review their performance with feedback. "I do not know where that came from, I just went for it and I pulled it off!" said squad member Destiny Brien after jumping through a series of hills.
The use of new technology is currently on the rise within the sport, and the Macarthur track aims to be an emerging leader in this field, planning to place TV's and Wi-Fi at the starting gates to offer further educational opportunities.
The SWSAS BMX Squad finishes their current program in late September, with nominations for the 2020-2021 BMX squad expected to open mid-October.