Build a West Midlands Velodrome (track cycling arena) for Birmingham Commonwealth Games.
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Brian Cookson OBE, past President of UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale, 2013-2017): “I am absolutely certain that Birmingham deserves and needs a velodrome of its own...Cycling is a wonderful sport and pastime, and the West Midlands region has always produced cyclists of the highest levels of ability. But without modern facilities of the requisite standard, future generations will miss out.”
We are petitioning for the building of a West Midlands Velodrome to be constructed in time for the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022. The reasons for doing so are as follows:
- The West Midlands Region has a population of 5.6 million people but there is no indoor velodrome within the area. Birmingham also does not have a single banked cycling track.
- Track cycling within the West Midlands can only develop by having investment into modern facilities.
- As part of Birmingham Cycling Revolution there is a stated aim to have 5% of all trips taken by bicycle before 2022.
- The Velo Birmingham cycle sportive was a huge success with 15,000 cyclists participating.
- Due to new indoor velodromes within the UK there has been a huge increase in female and paralympic track cyclists but the West Midlands is being left behind.
- Modern velodromes support multi-sport facilities and are used for various non-sporting events too.
- A new indoor cycling track would encourage people from all backgrounds to try this great sport. Children from socially deprived backgrounds will not be able to travel to London to watch the track cycling at the Commonwealth Games.
Major benefits for bringing a velodrome to the West Midlands:
There are many cycling clubs within the West Midlands where there is a continuous supply of cycling enthusiasts of all different abilities. A few of the high profile figures who originate from those clubs are Hugh Porter MBE (four time World Champion and also Commonwealth Games gold medallist), Jess Varnish and Andy Tennant. They were all inspired to compete professionally in cycling having first started cycling on their local outdoor track. However, it is imperative that the cyclists of the future have access to modern indoor facilities so that they can practice throughout the year regardless of what the weather is like outside.
In addition there are a large number of local schools and universities where young people would relish the opportunity of partaking in taster sessions as part of their sporting education
If the track cycling is held in London then we harm the chances that those young people will be inspired to take up the exciting sport of cycling. A new velodrome for the West Midlands will allow the hosting of world-class cycling events which will encourage spectators to visit the area and provide an economic benefit to the region.
Cycling is regarded as one of the finest ways to achieve good levels of fitness and health and is accessible to all age levels and backgrounds. One application of this would be for the rehabilitation of our overseas service people who are treated at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Edgbaston, Birmingham.
An indoor velodrome offers a safe environment for cyclists to practise their cycling so that they can build the confidence to venture out onto the roads whether that be for leisure purposes or for a regular commute.
Multi-sport and non-sporting uses
Existing velodromes have the proven capacity to provide other sports usage such as basketball, netball, table tennis, spinning, boxing and 5-a-side football.
Non-sporting uses include comedy gigs, concerts and as an events/conferencing venue.
Not only will a velodrome be an elite sports facility it can, in effect, become the multi-purpose hub for an entire community.
Kay Godwin Jones (daughter of late Birmingham track cyclist Tommy Godwin, Olympic Games medallist 1948): “Tommy’s greatest wish prior to his death 2012, having been one of Birmingham’s Olympic ambassadors was that there should be a velodrome in the Birmingham area. He had campaigned for many years… he would have been delighted that the Commonwealth Games bid had been successful but devastated that his beloved track cycling would not be held in Birmingham.”
The funds required to build this velodrome can potentially be acquired from pre-existing sporting budgets within the Birmingham Organising Committee Commonwealth Games Ltd and British Cycling. That would mean no Council Tax budgets will be affected in any way.
The only support we need from you today is to please sign this petition.
With enough signatures we can make this dream a reality.
Photo of UCI Aigle Velodrome, Switzerland, 200m track courtesy of Brian Cookson.
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