BATHURST could be bidding to host the World BMX Championships as early as 2018 after successfully hosting the Australian national titles over the past six days.
Even as the Australian championships were drawing to a close yesterday, Bathurst mayor Gary Rush was preparing for immediate talks with BMX Australia about placing a bid for a future world event.
The 2016 world titles will be held in Colombia, South America, while South Caroline in the United States will host the 2017 event.
Cr Rush said there was no reason Bathurst couldn’t make a successful world championship bid for a future date.
“We built a world-class facility with a view to bringing the world to Bathurst,” Cr Rush said.
He said now Bathurst’s BMX track was known throughout Australia, bidding for a world title event was the next logical step.
“I think this is very realistic because we have an international and Olympic-class facility here which will improve over time with beautification and infrastructure development programs,” Cr Rush said.
“We will, however, have to determine which world championship hasn’t been bid for yet. The next step will be to sit down with BMX Australia for a debrief and seek their recommendations on how we can improve the facility.
“The councillors will then give consideration to adopting improvement programs as part of a future process.”
Cr Rush said he was tremendously happy to think the new BMX facility was just over a month old, yet it has had the opportunity to host the National BMX Championships.
He said there were participants from every state of Australia and the two territories, as well as New Zealand, the USA and Japan.
The titles attracted 3500 entries from around 1700 riders.
Cr Rush said at Saturday night’s awards ceremony that recipients were asked what their favourite track in Australia was, and every one of them responded with Bathurst.
“This is particularly pleasing given that nine months ago this facility didn’t exist,” Cr Rush said.
He does not believe the opening of the facility was rushed in order to get it up and running in time for the event, but added that every new facility was going to have some teething problems.
Over the course of the nationals, spectators and competitors expressed concern over the lack of shade, a lack of free drinking water, inadequate parking facilities, and difficulty in moving around the huge area that makes up the bike park.
Cr Rush said any event that attracts such a large number of spectators must give consideration to the spectator experience, adding there was a need to look at ease of access around the facility and the creation of shaded areas.
“We will be looking at both of those things as a means of improving what is already a fantastic facility,” Cr Rush said.
“The great thing about hosting this event was the opportunity to learn so much.
“Just as we have done with racing at Mount Panorama, we will continue to observe and learn and provide additional services and amenity that add significantly to the spectator experience.”
Cr Rush said the event has undoubtedly contributed significantly to Bathurst’s visitor economy.