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LETTER: We need a velodrome to boost Birmingham's Commonwealth Games

Readers' letters | Published:

Lobby for a velodrome in Birmingham for the Commonwealth Games

Campaigners want a velodrome to be created in the Midlands as part of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham replicating the success of the Manchester and London tracks

From the snippets of information I have heard or read just recently on the subject, it now seems a foregone conclusion that the dream of having a velodrome facility for the forthcoming Commonwealth Games is not going to happen.

To me as a cyclist for some 40-odd years, it is a great shame for the Games itself, the athletes taking part, the logistical issues and the City of Birmingham.

To have to use a facility in London 100 miles away is not joined-up thinking.

The allocation of funding for the individual sports has not followed the Olympic model, which works on merit and results.

Cycling in the UK has progressed in leaps and bounds from the track and road disciplines since the Beijing Olympics, where popularity has overtaken the sport of golf in terms of numbers now taking up the sport.

For the first time ever this year, history was made, where an English National was the winner of the three grand Tours on the Continent in Europe – The Tour Italy, Tour De France and the Tour of Spain (not that it was widely published or news cast, is another sad affair).

Is it a decision simply made on lack of funding, or short sightedness?

I cannot see an £80m swimming pool facility surviving into the future, especially in the area already designated.

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A velodrome would be sustainable, and would be less cost to run, maintain and would be well used by all the local cycling clubs in the West Midlands.

Any cycling club in the West Midlands either has to travel to Derby or Newport as the nearest facility, Manchester or London is not within easy reach.

Maybe as a compromise, the authority and organisers of the Games should consider a smaller track facility – say 200m – with less seating that an all-singing and dancing venue as a training facility before competing in London?

Gary Smith,

Member of Stourbridge Velo

Brierley Hill

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