New bike track gets Olympic seal of approval in South Bristol

Youngsters in South Bristol have a new sports facility – which got the Olympic seal of approval as it opened.

BMX freestyler Declan Brooks, who won a bronze medal in last year’s Tokyo Olympics, was the guest of honour at the opening of a new cycling facility in Stockwood.

The new facility will be accessible to everyone on bikes, scooters and skateboards, and was created by UK charity Access Sport.

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Local community leaders said the new facility is very welcome, in an area of South Bristol with precious little for youngsters to do.

It’s one of only four in the city, and local councillors Graham Morris and Jonathan Hucker said they hoped it would be well-used.

“We are delighted to see the new bike track in Stockwood,” the two councillors said. “We have worked hard to secure this facility and, as one of only four in the city, it will benefit children, young people and families in all parts of the Ward. To see such a large investment in our community is wonderful news and we hope many young people and families will get as much pleasure from using this facility as we have from delivering it.

“We must express our gratitude to Access Sport – without their involvement we would not be here today,” they added.

The facility was created as part of Access Sport’s Making Trax Cycling Inclusion Programme, which seeks to put bike tracks and facilities in places where they are desperately needed. Building it also involved creating a new footpath to the track from nearby Whittock Road, a storage unit to provide a safe place to store community bikes and helmets and a little social space to watch the action on the track.

Joe McTague, the delivery director at Access Sport, said the idea was to do more than just create it and leave the kids to it. He said the Stockwood Bike Track would become a ‘thriving resource’ for the local community, creating a safe and exciting place for people to learn to ride, increase cycling confidence and enhance bike-handling skills.

Olympic Freestyle BMX bronze medalist and Access Sport ambassador, Declan Brooks with Access Sport officially opens an exciting new cycling facility in Stockwood, Bristol, Thursday 12th May, 2002.
Olympic Freestyle BMX bronze medalist and Access Sport ambassador, Declan Brooks with Access Sport officially opens an exciting new cycling facility in Stockwood, Bristol, Thursday 12th May, 2002.
(Image: Paul Gillis/Bristol Live)

Access Sport now plan to support the community by setting up a cycling group to provide a wide range of opportunities for local people to get involved, through riding, coaching or volunteering.

“There will also be recreational and structured cycling sessions offered at the track, which will include coached sessions, rock up and ride sessions, after school sessions, Wingz cycling (inclusive cycling for anyone with an impairment and/or additional need), BMXercise (BMX specifically for women and girls) and Access Sport’s unique school and community outreach programme,” said Joe.

“We are delighted that Stockwood Bike Track is now complete. It is brilliant to see people already out enjoying the new track and we know it will be a great asset for the local community! We would like to thank our partners The London Marathon Charitable Trust, Enovert Community Trust, Bristol City Council, Churngold, the John James Bristol Foundation and Architrail Velosolutions, for helping create this fantastic facility for the community of Stockwood,” he added.

Olympic Freestyle BMX bronze medalist and Access Sport ambassador, Declan Brooks with Access Sport officially opens an exciting new cycling facility in Stockwood, Bristol, Thursday 12th May, 2002.
(Image: Paul Gillis/Bristol Live)

The track has been open for a couple of weeks now, but had the official launch from Declan Brooks, a 25-year-old who is an Olympic medallist.

“The Stockwood Bike Track is an amazing facility for the local community,” he said. “It’s great to see a track designed for all ages and abilities and I hope it will encourage more people to get on their bikes and give it a go! Every community needs a fun and safe space like this!”

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