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THE EXCITING and now Olympic sport of BMX Freestyle already has a large following in TT and the local governing body for the sport is eager to establish a home for training and competition.

During a meeting on Tuesday at the offices of the Sports Company of TT (SporTT), president of the TT BMX Freestyle Association, Trevlon Hall extolled the benefits of developing a park for the sport to a small team of officials including Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs Darryl Smith, SporTT CEO Jason Williams and cycling technical director Erin Hartwell. According to Hall, the Association has done pioneering work to introduce the sport to the country.

Hall continued, “Having a BMX Freestyle Park in TT will give young people across the nation an opportunity to engage in a productive activity and for elites to practice in the right environment, leading, in time to representation at the Olympic Games.” Hartwell, who just returned from a successful World Cup competition in Belarus with the country’s leading track cyclists, applauded Hall’s initiative, saying that it complements the international trends of the sport and would improve TT’s bid to become one of five regional development centres for the International Cycling Union (UCI), cycling’s world governing body.

During a brief tour of the National Cycling Velodrome in Couva, where a BMX park could be situated, Minister Smith agreed that the construction of a park will contribute to the vision of Couva becoming a hub for sporting activity, especially given the current transformation of the Ato Boldon Stadium and surrounding lands being developed into the “Home of Football” for the TT Football Association.

Smith said, “The conversation about building on the National Cycling Centre’s success began with the immediate past president of the UCI and the TT Cycling Federation last year so, I am pleased that Trevlon has come to us with this idea, which is certainly an attractive one from the perspective of athletes, administrators as well as potential visitors to destination Trinidad. We will certainly look into the cost and feasibility of such a project going forward and submit a proposal to Cabinet as soon as possible.”

Discussions among the stakeholders will continue as more information comes to hand about the BMX Freestyle Park project, which could be multi-purpose to accommodate skateboarding, another popular international sport which is growing locally.