When the land upon which the Harare BMX Club track stood for 31 years was sold in 2016, the future of the sport in the city was clouded in uncertainty.
By Munyaradzi Madzokere
And in May this year the track situated at Old Georgians (OGs) in Groombridge, along The Chase road was eventually demolished.
But luckily, owing to the generosity of the new owner of the land, the Harare BMX club was allowed to reconstruct another track close by, ushering the club a new era.
It’s already been three weeks since the new track, a BMX and Off-road Bike Park was opened.
“We recently re-opened our new track. We are still at the same location — next door to OG’s Sports club, The Chase. The new owner is currently redeveloping the old site. This meant that we needed to move the main race track from the OG’s side to its new position, on the opposite side of the property,” Harare BMX Club committee member Jean Nascimento told The Sports Hub.
“We demolished the old track and practically built the new track within three weeks. It was a crazy, intense few weeks and luckily we had a phenomenal team. After the initial three weeks, it took us a further four weeks to get the track operational which is no mean feat,” she said.
Nancimento and Dirk Du Plooy were in charge of the design and construction of the track.
The track borrows most of its attributes from England’s Manchester BMX track, but is suited for the older riders as well as four-year-olds.
“We have been incredibly lucky with donations in the form of machinery to help us construct the track. Without donations from the public, this project would never have gotten off the ground.
“We have been amazed at how willing members of the public have been in assisting us when we needed excavators, bulldozers, TLB’s, dump trucks and soil.
We’ve also had financial help from the previous owners of Harare BMX Club along with donations from club members,” said Nascimento.
At least $30 000 was needed to complete the project.
Corporates who came to Harare BMX Club’s rescue include Espn Excavators, Creadlyne Transport, Plant & Equipment International, Balclutha Pvt Ltd, Bluegold Drilling, Abbfine Investments Bulldozer, Garfunkels, Gas Boys and Steel Warehouse.
Pomona Quarry, Home Style Bricks, St John’s Prep, Prices Lawn, Bsi Steel, Cranes For Hire, Architectural Aluminium, Fuchs and Eskbank Farm also played a part.
Harare BMX Club was founded in 1985 when the first track was built at OG’s Sports ground.
To date, the track has been rebuilt several times to meet international standards.
This has allowed a number of talented riders to compete and achieve top results at an international level.
Harare BMX has produced five world champions while more than 50 riders have made it through to the finals at the ICU BMX World Championships.
“We are looking to grow our membership but you don’t need to be a member to enjoy the track. Everyone and anyone are welcome. If you don’t have your own bike, we have bikes and helmets for hire. You can also hire the track for birthday parties,” she said.
The track is open Tuesdays and Fridays between 1pm and 5pm, while it is open from 8am to 5pm during weekends.