Geoff Small put his proposal for a bike track on Queenstown Lakes District Council-owned land on the corner of Domain Rd and Noema Tce to the community board last week.
The father of two said while there were plenty of natural recreational opportunities in the area, children needed a “healthy outlet” in a location that was easy for parents to monitor.
The long, narrow site was perfect for a children’s BMX track because it was naturally downhill to flat. With the help of a professional track shaper, Mr Small is proposing a 150m-long hummocky track which would suit all ages – younger children could “roll through” it, while the older kids could jump.
He had written approval from four of the five neighbours.
The environmental impact would be small, with just some dirt needed to create the jumps, he said.
“There’s nothing like a pile of dirt for kids to play with.”
Mr Small, a professional skier who also has an impressive number of mountainbiking titles under his belt, said BMX racing as a child was one of the ways he learned about healthy competition and the consequences of taking risks.
“That’s an important lesson to learn early, rather than jumping in a car.”
There were already “20 odd” children in Lake Hawea who met regularly to ride their BMX and the number of young families living in the area was growing.
Many sports were costly – both in terms of money and caregivers’ time – and BMX provided a less expensive alternative.
The community board agreed to support the bike park in principle, providing any safety or resource consent requirements were met and affected neighbours gave their approval.