With the sheer amount of natural sprint talent coming out of Jamaica, there must be some natural BMX talent on the Caribean Island with fast twitch fibres to spare?! Well finally they have their first BMX track thanks to the efforts of USA Cycling, this is the start of the BMX racing in the region and I’m sure the new facility will prove very popular… BMX racing in Jamaica is about to blow up…watch this space!
Over 40 Jamaican riders lined up last month as the first BMX gate dropped at the Eden Park BMX Track, in Jacks River, St. Mary, Jamaica. And USA Cycling is excited to have been a part of this important development project that aims to develop young Jamaican riders into Olympic-caliber athletes.
“For the past twelve years, our international relations efforts have focused on assisting the Caribbean cycling federations,” explained USA Cycling’s President & CEO, Steve Johnson. “We have always believed that focusing on the sport of BMX would be one of the most effective ways for the Caribbean islands to develop Olympic cycling programs.”
The project was first conceived in 2009 when Jamaica identified land and resources to satisfy track requirements. As part of its ongoing international relations efforts, USA Cycling worked in partnership with the United States Olympic Committee, USA BMX, the Jamaican Cycling Federation, and the Orcabessa Foundation to make the vision a reality.
The U.S. Olympic Committee provided grant funding to purchase critical components for the track, and USA BMX provided a track builder who made two trips to Jamaica to orchestrate the design and construction of the facility.
When it was time to unveil the track, Jamaica’s Minister of Sport, Hon. Natalie Neita-Headley gave the keynote address and performed the honorary first gate drop.
USA Cycling’s Mike King attended the opening of the track.
Also on hand for the ceremony were Jamaican Cycling Federation President Edward Harper, Jonathan Gosse of the BMX Jamaica/Oracabessa Foundation, Jamaica’s Social Development Commission Regional Manager, Jeanette Rose-Bryan, and Acting Manager of Jamaica’s Sports Development Foundation, Charmaine Hanson.
“It was a long process that has resulted in a fine entry level BMX track,” says USA Cycling’s BMX Program Director, Mike King, who also attended the track’s opening ceremony. “Many young Jamaican riders are eager to enter the sport, and this track will hopefully pave the way for them to develop their skills to one day represent Jamaica in the Olympic Games.”
In continuing its efforts to develop tracks with Caribbean cycling federations, USA Cycling is now working with the St. Lucia Cycling Federation to construct a new BMX track on their island.