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Ratoath BMX Club played host to a group of more than 60 children and adults from Newry and Dundalk recently.
The Newry group is hoping to develop their own BMX track and visited the Ratoath club, along with local Cllr Charlie Casey, a member of Newry and Mourne District Council, on Saturday, 11th August, to to see the facilities, how it works and how popular it is with local young people.
A group of 20 children from the Cuchulainn Cycling Club in Dundalk also visited. The club is planning to build a velodrome in the town and include a BMX track in the development. Club chairman Shay McNally welcomed the group to the Ratoath track. The youngsters were aged from 11-18 and had a great day trying out in glorious sunshine and mingled with local members.
The Ratoath members kindly loaned their bikes, helmets and gloves to the visitors so that they could all have a go.
Although many of the young visitors had never rode a BMX track before, they soon got to grips with the challenges that it set. The locals, familiar of course with the track, were excellent hosts, and encouraged their visitors over the tripples and step-ups.
Cllr Jimmy Fegan, vice-chairperson of Meath County Council, and Cllr Noel Leonard, Dunboyne, were also in attendance and the club executives emphasised that it had a number of issues to resolve that would require the assistance of Meath County Council, Cllr Fegan undertook to raise matters with the Meath County Manager and to assist the council cathaoirleach, Cllr Niamh McGowan, for whom he was deputising on the day, with resolving the matters of concern to the club.
Mr McNally was fulsome in his gratitude to those public representatives, and in particular, Deputy Regina Doherty, who had been most helpful in seeing the facility reach fruition.
The Ratoath BMX track, located on the Fairyhouse Road, opened last October and is the only competition outdoor track in Ireland.
The club already has a membership of 530 with members ranging in age from three years of age up to adults, though the majority of the members are aged from 10-13.