A bike club is "absolutely delighted" its riders will have access to Glasgow’s state-of-the-art BMX track over winter ahead of next year's world championships.

The Western Titans BMX Club, which is based in Clydebank, was previously told that Glasgow BMX Centre in Knightswood would only be open for limited hours during the week and it would not be possible to hire the track out for training, leaving its members "disheartened".

The £3.7m track, which was opened in 2018, is the only Olympic standard BMX track in Scotland and will host the BMX Racing for the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships.

Glasgow Times: Western Titans BMX Club. Emma Scullion, right.Western Titans BMX Club. Emma Scullion, right. (Image: Gordon Terris, Newsquest)

Formed in 2006, the Western Titans BMX Club is a non-profit organisation that is run by volunteers and has between 30 and 40 members, with five or six expected to compete in next year’s champs.

The club is based at Clydebank BMX Track but is unable to use it during the evenings in winter due to a lack of floodlights on the course, which is why members want to train in Knightswood.

Emma Scullion, a volunteer with Western Titans BMX Club, previously told the Glasgow Times: "We feel totally discouraged.

"It doesn’t promote riding and racing and it feels like they’re going to be put at a disadvantage because we’ve got this incredible opportunity.

"For the first time, we’ll be hosting the world championship that’s got all the different disciplines in cycling being brought together and then we don’t even get the opportunity to get our guys up to full standard and ready.

"The riders are absolutely gutted they won’t have the opportunity to get the experience and time on the track they need because it is a very specific type of training, they need access to a track.

"They’re disheartened and it makes the competition even more intimidating to them."

Glasgow Times:

However, after the club contacted local councillors, including cllr Chris Cunningham, who contacted Glasgow Life on the bikers' behalf, they have now been informed that they will be able to train on the track over winter.

They will have access to the track for up to two hours on two evenings a week.

Glasgow Times:

Ms Scullion, 34, said: "It is a fantastic facility and it's amazing for the riders.

"If we can get that regular access it will be perfect and it will really help us ramp up the preparation and riding performance of our riders coming up to the championships next year.

"We’re delighted that we know that we’re going to have consistent time for the riders to practice and it will give us a level footing and allow them to get to their best performance before the championships.

"We’re really pleased and grateful that they’ve taken into consideration all the points that we’ve brought forward and are allowing us to gain that access now.

"It will make a big difference to the riders and the athletes wanting to train because now we’ve got a world-ranking BMX track that we can train our riders on ahead of time to get them fit and it will really allow us to have a level footing coming into the championships against other countries.

"BMXing in Scotland is really small comparatively compared to a lot of other countries so it will really help us to be competitive in such a big competition."

Glasgow Times:

A spokesperson for Glasgow Life said: "The BMX Centre is a seasonal facility which sees its hours of operation reduce during the dark winter months when there is lower demand as well as adverse weather conditions.

"From October to March the venue therefore has shorter opening hours, from 8am to 4pm on weekdays and from 9am to 4pm at weekends.

"Western Titans asked for extended access during evenings and weekends, and we are making arrangements to offer them additional access from early November through to March."

Cllr Cunningham said: "I’m pleased to see that the BMX track is being used for its intended purpose and that this can be continued over the winter months when floodlighting is required for mid-week use. 

"As we recover from Covid I would hope that all of the council’s, and Glasgow Life’s, operations can return to ‘normal’ working and our fellow citizens can make best use of the world-class amenities the city has in its possession."

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