Cycling club is back on track

ST GEORGE Cycling Club has received more than $80,000 from the state government to upgrade the Hurstville Oval velodrome.The grant, awarded last Thursday, came from the state government’s Community Building Partnerships program, will be used to repair and resurface the track.

‘‘This is the biggest grant we’ve received and we’re so grateful for the support,’’ St George Cycling Club president Phil Bates said.

The Leader, in conjunction with the cycling club, began a campaign in 2010 to save the velodrome when it appeared the council was planning to remove it from the oval.

‘‘There’s been a huge turnaround over the last year, from almost closing down to ongoing support to improve our facilities,’’ Mr Bates said.

He said bike tracks should be resurfaced at least once every 10 years. The velodrome at Hurstville has not been resurfaced since 1988.

‘‘We’ve been fortunate to have members help with the maintenance of the track over the years,’’ Mr Bates said.

‘‘They’ve filled in cracks and painted the track. It costs about $100,000 to completely resurface the track so hopefully Hurstville Council will put in.’’

Hurstville mayor Steve McMahon said he supported the idea to help the club but had to wait for a full report on what needed to be done.

‘‘We’ve been doing basic drainage works to improve the quality of the track,’’ Cr McMahon said.

‘‘The state government funding was a good first step and we just have to wait and see what more we can do.’’

Mr Bates said club members were prepared to pitch in and paint the track to save costs.

It cost $30,000 for Hurstville Council to paint the track, compared with $6000 if members paint it.

Oatley MP Mark Coure said he was pleased to play his part in securing the state grant for the cycling club.

‘‘The velodrome has been an important part of our cycling and sporting history in the St George region,’’ Mr Coure said.

‘‘Hurstville Oval velodrome has a proud history and this money supports its future, this saves it for the future.

‘‘I look forward to watching the progress of the upgrade so that the velodrome can continue be used by future generations of cyclists and continue to play a role in our local sporting achievements.’’

Mr Bates said the ideal scenario would be to have the track in pristine condition by October.

St George and Sutherland Shire Leader.