SORCA Working Towards a Mountain Bike Skills Park

By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: July 28, 2012

Last year, there were petitions, letters, and acrimonious debates on money being given out of the legacy funds to the mountain bike skills park.

This year, one man is silently working towards that goal.

A year after the previous council rejected all entreaties to allot some money for the park, Jeff Cooke, the vice-president of SORCA, is marshalling volunteers and resources for a bike skills park.

“We never abandoned the idea,” Cooke said.

“We can make this happen with some money and time and resources donated by volunteers,”

He also sees hope in new faces in the council.

Although he hasn’t approached the council formally, he is confident the new council will appreciate the idea more than the previous one.

“We have enough people on the council that understand the value of mountain biking community. So, we have a fighting chance at this,” Cooke said.

Last year, the divvying up of council money devolved into a charged political slugfest, with some councillors adamant the money should only go to soccer and Nordic ski park, despite 120 letters, 37 emails, and a strong show of support by the mountain biking community.

The idea was shunned by the council, but embraced by SORCA, and Cooke has focussed on getting the project off the ground ever since.

SORCA hopes the council will allot $20,000 and free up some space in the Brennan Park Recreation Centre, near the BMX track.

SORCA also plans to approach MP John Weston, an avid cyclist himself, to see if he can help with funding.

Cooke said the SORCA estimates the skills park to cost about $120,000.

“The actual cash lay outs would be less than $120,000, and I don’t think we are asking a lot of money from the district” he said.

The bike skills park will help train and initiate children and teens into the sport, Cooke said.

For young riders, it can be difficult to access suitable trails for biking. The skills park can provide a desirable free spot where they can develop their skills, he added.

“It gets kids off the couch for once, and it supports one of our main draws, which is tourism,” he said.

The recreation centre, Cooke said, will also be able to add another attraction for the young families in town.

The bike skills park will also work well for parents who can’t take their kids on a trail, or might not want to ride their bike.

Tim Hoskin, the recreation director, is quite receptive the idea, Cooke added.

The councillors will get to preview the concept in September.

Comments

  1. Heather Donaldson says:

    Yes, good for Squamish. Lots of IndoCanadian children don’t get the chance to learn the skills because parents are busy working in Whistler. It would be good for them.

  2. Craig C says:

    Sports have changed for kids over the years. It’s been soccer and baseball for decades. Kids are looking for different things these days and mountain biking is one of them. I like this idea and support it fully. We need more non-traditional sports infrastructure, especially in the recreation capital of Canada.

  3. Jeff Cooke says:

    I just want toclarify that it is not just “one man” doing this. There have been many contributing their time and expertise. Like many things in Squamish, it will be a community effort that makes this happen.