The Oceanside BMX Club is looking for support from Qualicum Beach town council to install electricity at their facility before hosting a national-level race in August.
The Erik Goetzinger BMX Park, located at 750 Broom Rd., in Qualicum Beach, is the only BMX track in B.C. without power, according to the track operator, Robert Grecht.
Grecht told Qualicum Beach town council at an April 8 meeting that having power installed before the Aug. 9-11 event, that draws racers from all over Canada and the United States, would be beneficial so they don’t have to use “noisy generators.”
“Our plan is to run wire underground from the main power building in the parking lot to a new power pole at the existing entrance of our lease,” Grecht said. “It’s 900 feet from the power building to the property but we believe that it can be done right underneath the existing access road.”
Grecht said the estimated cost of the project is between $8,000 and $10,000 and that with permission from council to go ahead, the club could begin applying for grants and holding fundraisers. He added that volunteers from BC Hydro would provide a new power pole and do the installation.
The three-day national race in August is a BMX Canada event that occurs at one of the four Vancouver Island tracks each year. Oceanside BMX Club is entitled to host the race every four years.
“This year we have chosen to host this race as we feel our recent improvements, dedicated volunteer base and the beautiful town of Qualicum Beach will deliver an outstanding experience for all attendees,” Grecht said. “This national race weekend will draw over 500 participants plus their families and spectators to the town. This will indubitably bring a boost to the local economy and increase awareness of this beautiful tourist destination.”
Grecht said one of the biggest hurdles for the club on a regular basis, and especially hosting an event of this size, is the lack of power at the facility, that has been leased from the town for the past 19 years.
Through yearly revenue, donations and grants the club has been able to make improvements to the track each year.
“This year, we are installing a new starting gate that will increase safety, improve performance and we think encourage more riders to use our facility,” Grecht said. “We also purchased a large amount of top soil and with donated machinery our volunteers are resurfacing the entire track and making layout changes to improve safety.”
Over the past 19 years, the club has grown in size from 30 members to more than 110. Riders range in age from two years old to 60.
“Many BMX riders from the Oceanside BMX Club have reached national and even international success,” Grecht said. “Several current riders are part of Canada’s next generation team—targeted athletes that are chosen to represent Canada on the world stage.”
Qualicum Beach mayor Brian Wiese said council will take the information provided by Grecht and “definitely be in touch.”
“It’s a great thing you guys are doing,” Wiese said.