Warwick cyclist Tony Simonelli training at the Warwick Velodrome. Picture: Gerard Walsh
Warwick cyclist Tony Simonelli training at the Warwick Velodrome. Picture: Gerard Walsh

$200K BOOST: Velodrome upgrade plans pick up speed

THE Warwick Velodrome is in line to receive an upgrade worth more than $200,000, though a new council submission suggests cyclists won’t be the only athletes to benefit.

A $219,538 cash injection from the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program would see the track resealed and lighting system overhauled, as part of the larger $1.5 million grant.

Southern Downs councillors voted unanimously in favour of the project, which now awaits approval from the Department of Infrastructure before funding is finalised.

Councillor Sheryl Windle advocated for the project, citing benefits for both Warwick cyclists and the wider community.

“This is something we’ve been talking about for quite some time now, and I’m happy to see it progress to the next step,” Cr Windle said.

“The velodrome is used quite a lot, and by a lot more people than some of us realise.

“I think this will just be an addition to what we did with the Learn to Ride Park, if we can have the velodrome up to the standard where it will cater to adults and older kids too.”

Warwick resident Tabitha McDonnell-Partington submitted a separate request to the council for a new skating rink, to show support for the “worldwide roller-skating revival”.

SKATING AWAY: Tabitha McDonnell-Partington shared her passion for roller-skating with the Daily News earlier this year. Picture: Emily Clooney
SKATING AWAY: Tabitha McDonnell-Partington shared her passion for roller-skating with the Daily News earlier this year. Picture: Emily Clooney

Her letter suggested using existing facilities at WIRAC or “underused” sports courts, or otherwise repurposing an abandoned building or retail space.

Councillor Jo McNally said it was unlikely the SDRC would consider a new purpose-built area, though the refurbished velodrome could become home to cyclists and skaters alike.

“To me, (the velodrome) would seem an ideal place to use as a skate rink, and perhaps if there’s enough interest from the community we could set up days for them to use it,” Cr McNally suggested.

Her submissions were supported by most other councillors, including Cynthia McDonald.

“It’s certainly a sport that’s coming back into fashion,” Cr McDonald said.

“I believe the velodrome, at this point, is under-utilised by comparison to what it could be, so if there was an alternative activity found for it, it would be a good idea.

“We obviously need to be a bit smart and savvy about how we approach this situation though.”

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