Hayes Hawks needs to raise £20,000 to replace its start gate. We can’t do that on our own, and so we’re hoping for donations from people like you.
We have a quote from the supplier, and a new gate will cost £15,000. We have been told that we should plan to have a further £5,000 to install the gate. Members and volunteers from the club will contribute their own time to assist with the installation, to ensure that we can install the gate within this expected budget.
Why does this matter?
Too unreliable the current gate needs constant maintenance in order to ensure it continues to operate. Given how key the start gate is to the use of the track, it means now that there are concerns about whether training can continue in the long term.
Too loud the ram which is used to raise and drop the gate is very loud - almost like a small explosion. The metal structure that makes up the gate is very heavy and it comes down against another metal structure. A heavy metal structure being dropped onto another metal structure makes an incredible sound as the parts clatter together. The combination of these two noises makes for a very loud noise.
Compare that, with this - this is the gate that we're raising funds for. As you'll hear (or maybe not), there's a significant difference in noise levels between the two!
Not inclusive the current start gate is usable, but it is a very intimidating place to be - it certainly isn’t welcoming. People are put off using the gate and thus they are missing out on an opportunity to try something new.
Not racing standard when riders from the club go to other tracks they are slower out the gate because they aren’t used to riding the new style gates. This makes it harder for the riders to be competitive, and often makes them disheartened.
Who’s this for?
There are two main groups who use the start gate.
Local community and outreach projects
The community will benefit from a new start gate at the track as this will reduce the level of noise for local residents. Local people who’re trying BMX for the first time won’t be scared of the gate and will be able to ride a facility which meets current safety standards. Encouraging people to use the up to date facility will have a knock on effect of a healthier and fitter community.
The club also runs a community project with the local pupil referral unit from the young peoples academy in Hillingdon, some of these children have learning/behavioural difficulties. These children are brought to the track on a weekly basis for coached sessions. The children participate in team building activities; they work on engagement, social and life skills and of course bike skills.
The BMX club also runs a Schools Outreach Project, which engages with hundreds of young children during the year where the coaches attend and teach BMX at schools and Learn 2 Ride sessions, which have been run over the past 10 years. The club has formed a partnership with the local school, Lake Farm Primary School delivering sessions in school twice a week with the school also funding its students to take part in the club’s holiday camp sessions via its pupil premium funding.
Club members, and BMX racers
More advanced riders will no longer be at a disadvantage when racing other tracks, maybe even producing the next Olympian from the local community!
What’s in it for you?
If this project is successful, it will make a real and lasting difference to the BMX track at Hayes. Your support will ensure that more people can use the gate, and that we can therefore start attracting more people into a sport that offers a safe and accessible means of exercise.
There are various rewards which you can choose from in the panel on the right.
About Hayes Hawks BMX Club
Hayes Hawkes BMX club is a not for profit organisation based at Lake Farm BMX Track, Lake Farm Country Park, Dawley Road, Hayes, UB3 1JD. The club was established in 1981 and is run by volunteers with the aim of developing, organising and promoting BMX racing in the London Borough of Hillingdon and other surrounding areas. The club has over 150 members.
The club is very inclusive with members ranging from 3 to 55 years old with different levels of experience, ability/disability, genders and ethnic and social backgrounds. A passion for cycling and a taste for racing bring everyone together.
The club enables youngsters to gain valuable bike skills as well as self-confidence, self-awareness, respect and team working skills. At the club you can see how these traits trickle down through the different age groups and we often hear how these traits have trickled down into other aspects of the kids lives. We see the teenagers chatting and helping the younger riders, explaining techniques such as pumping, jumping and gate starts. The support the members give each other and the bond the kids have is really heart-warming.
The club runs twice-weekly training sessions (plus additional sessions during holidays) with fully qualified and well-respected coaches who capture the kids attention and focus. BMX racing is the grass roots of cycling and can be the start of a cycling passion and even some professional careers.
The club isn’t just about riding bikes though it is a welcoming family sport where parents, brothers, sisters and other family members all get involved, the community of volunteers at the club enables races and other events to go ahead.
The club also runs an open day once a year to encourage the local community to come and have a go at riding bikes at the track, once they can ride a small obstacle course the coaches then take the rider on to the track to ride certain parts to build up confidence, by the end of the day almost all of the participants are riding the whole track, with beaming smiles from what they have accomplished.
In the holiday periods the club hosts BMX sessions and camps for non-members for learn to ride sessions to include and encourage the local community to participate in the sport, this often results in new members joining the club.
Women only sessions are also hosted which encourage more participation opportunities for the local community to have fun while also keeping fit.
A recent addition to the club is a small track which allows children who cannot ride a bike yet to use balance bikes, this helps toddlers develop motor skills before they progress to pedal bikes without needing stabilisers, it is not uncommon to see these children riding pedal bikes on the track at the age of 3 years old.