International BMX rider Finn Carpenter backs Malabar Park track upgrades

WA’s only World Cup BMX racer has backed a plan to save and revive the Bibra Lake BMX track.

Speaking from the UK as he prepares for an event in Nantes, France, local Coolbellup Finn Carpenter said Perth was seriously lacking in international standard BMX facilities and would therefore hurt the chances of the best local riders it could. I would make it on the world stage.

“I am currently the only WA rider in the UK for the race and probably the least prepared rider from Australia to compete in the World Cup,” Carpenter told City of Cockburn councilors last week when he called in for the meeting of last week.

“I have just arrived in the UK and had a week of training on a supercross track like we don’t have in WA, and I can say it has been very tough. I am the least experienced rider in the Australian lineup, mainly due to the facilities I currently have access to in WA. †

Cockburn BMX Club members have been in limbo since closing the gates on the Malabar circuit in late 2020, believing that construction work led by the city would begin in early 2021.

Plans to upgrade the Malabar Park BMX facility were shelved after construction and labor costs skyrocketed during the pandemic.

Camera IconYoung riders on the Malabar Park BMX tracked when it was operational. Credit: Gabby Jameson/delivered/RegionalHUB

Carpenter hoped the city would upgrade Malabar Park to fit the Eastern state’s circuits so other up-and-coming riders could prepare for high-level competition.

“We don’t have the kids that look up to international riders or international pro riders here in WA because when riders get to the level where they have to compete internationally, they have to go east to compete. Otherwise, it’s too much,” he said.

“We can’t go from the level of a facility we have here to the level we have at the international races. Even if we upgrade the facility to a level equivalent to the eastern states, it will substantially help all our young riders in the future for development to put them on a level playing field. †

Cockburn councilors strongly supported the local BMX fraternity at their June meeting by voting to look into taking a $1.16 million loan through the WA Treasury Corporation so that rebuilding can continue.

That was the best outcome for the BMX club out of the three options presented to the city council on June 9.

The alternatives were to drop the project altogether because it would be too expensive or postpone it for another 12 months to seek other financial support.

Last month, PerthNow reported pleas from the Cockburn BMX Club – which leases the site from the City of Cockburn – for the council to upgrade the inactive track.

The upgrade aims to turn Malabar Park into a Union Cyclist Internationale (UCI) BMX racetrack suitable for national-level events, with a new five-meter starting ramp for training and racing and a new multi-purpose facility.

John D.Mayne
I love to write. When I wasn’t writing for my school newspaper or college blog, I was writing personal essays and journal entries. Then I discovered I loved to write. In college, I wrote for my school paper and my campus radio show. I started doing freelance writing for the Huffington Post in 2009. Then, I joined the team at Newsmyth as a writer/editor. Now, I spend most of my time writing for Newsmyth and as a guest blogger on a handful of other blogs. When I’m not writing, I like to read, travel, cook, and spend time with friends.