Ipswich hosts Qld titles: Massive influx into city expected
WITH the prospect of attracting 10,000 people to the city, Ipswich BMX Club officials are understandably excited about a rare hosting opportunity this year.
Led by new club president Karley Bryce, the BMX committee is preparing to stage the state titles from September 20-26 at the impressive Willey Park track.
"We were meant to have the states last year but because of COVID and everything that happened, we missed out,'' Bryce said.
"There was no COVID-safe plan from the government at that point. It was all just a little bit hard.''
However, everything is getting back on track, literally, this year.
With hundreds of riders expected to compete backed by their supportive family networks, Bryce said the state titles would be a massive week of training and competition in Ipswich.
The state titles are rarely conducted outside the international Sleeman complex in Brisbane.
However, Ipswich was granted the opportunity after successfully hosting the third round of BMX Australia's BAD BOY National series in 2019.
The BMX facility was shut down in March last due to COVID-19 restrictions.
After that false start through no fault of their own, Ipswich club officials are busy preparing for another huge cycling series at the Moffat Street facility.
Riders will compete from the youngest age groups to masters level at the state titles.
"That's our big one of the year,'' Bryce said.
"We will be expecting an influx of 10,000 people over the week.''
The Ipswich club is holding an open day on September 19 - a week before the Queensland titles take centre stage.
Bryce was appointed president for the first time at last November's AGM. She replaced former official Justin Radloff who stepped aside for family reasons after overseeing the massive upgrade at the track.
Bryce is joined on the committee by husband-wife team Ian and Tanya Thompson (vice president and treasurer) and returning secretary Stacey Underhill.
Mark Timperley will take over the former coaching co-ordinator role Bryce performed when she was previously club treasurer.
An operational committee will help share the workload.
The new club president is delighted to see Wednesday and Friday night club activities up and running since last month.
"They are starting to come back now. It's starting to actually pick up quite well, which is good,'' Bryce said.
"We did run a little bit last year but it was very, very much under COVID ruling and it changed a lot with what we were allowed to do and what we couldn't.
"It's pretty much gone back to normal now because we have our COVID-safe plan.
"All the COVID stuff has been met completely, which is great.''
Although some riders left during the COVID shutdown, Bryce said club numbers were returning to around 300. The club had more than 320 members last year.
She expects an influx of riders to come back with Ipswich preparing to host the state titles.
The club is running school programs and membership drives to bolster interest.
Another boost for the active club has been having new colours on the resurfacing sections.
"The track looks completely different,'' she said.
"We've had pretty good feedback.
"What we really wanted to focus on this year was getting the track facility redone and also getting our membership back up.''
Bryce said the club had a fantastic relationship with Ipswich City Council, a partnership that will help the city when the massive BMX contingent arrive in September.