Five years ago, a small group of BMX enthusiasts in Rotorua dared to dream.
Having outgrown the BMX track on Te Ngae Rd they started planning for a new, world-class facility on reserve land, leased to the club by the Rotorua Lakes Council, on the corner of State Highway 5 and Waipa Mill Rd.
Hours upon hours of work and planning went into securing funding, designing and then constructing the track.
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Next month brings the moment many have been waiting for - the track will officially open.
The new track is one of three in New Zealand at an Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) standard with an 8m start ramp and an elite super-cross track. The club has already been confirmed as the host of the BMX National Championships in 2021.
The official opening on December 7 will include an opening ceremony from 12-1pm, followed by a Rotorua BMX Club meet from 1-5pm. From 5pm attendees will be able to watch some of the best elite riders practising for an event at the track the following day.
Among the speakers will be downhill mountain biker Tuhoto-Ariki Pene, who finished third at the Junior Downhill World Championships this year. He started his sporting career in BMX, winning multiple national age-group titles before converting to mountain biking.
Pene and his family are entwined in the history of BMX in Rotorua. Tuhoto-Ariki was just a baby when his parents helped construct the track on Te Ngae Rd, and now the 18-year-old works for Velo Solutions and helped construct the new track. At the opening he will talk about his own BMX journey as well as the meaning behind the new track's name; Te Papa o Te Kauri.
Project co-ordinator Melanie Short said all involved in the new track's construction wanted Rotorua to become a hub for BMX in New Zealand.
"On the Sunday, we've got what's called a Category One meet as well as the Central Champs. The C1 meet will attract people like Sarah Walker, Michael Bias, Rebecca Petch, as well as Caroline Buchanan from Australia.
"There will be about 300 riders and it will be really cool to watch. That was our goal and part of the cycling strategy for Rotorua, to bring this sort of thing to Rotorua."
Short said planning for the project began in 2014 and she was proud of what the small project committee had achieved.
"I'm mostly proud because of the amount of effort that has gone in from a very small group of people.
"On the other side, the funding that came in at the start from NZCT and the Rotorua Trust, at the end of 2014, was quite phenomenal. Having a million dollars as a starting point, and then how the community got around it. The companies who contributed in kind, the sponsors - none of this would ever have happened without that support."
Short said the project committee, comprising Grant Butterworth, Rupert Hastings, Carol Carr, Kylee Stevens, Aimee McGregor and Ryan Gulliford, was bold in aiming for the track to be of a world-class standard, but it had paid off.
"Right from the start we said world-class and at times there was some tension around the table because world-class means it costs a lot more and takes a lot longer. But, we stuck to our vision and, yes, it has taken this long but it's 100 per cent worth it.
"We also had a neutral external party on the committee throughout - Greg Brown was there at the start and then he was replaced by Grant Utteridge. That was such an important part of the project because they were non-BMXers, neutral and gave us some really good governance guidance."
Rotorua BMX Track Opening
12-1pm: Opening ceremony.
1-5pm: Local BMX racing.
5-6pm: Elite practice off the 8m ramp for Sunday's UCI racing.
6pm onwards: BBQ and refreshments to celebrate.