LETTER: The Burke Arena would inspire generations of Pendle cyclists

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The cycling fraternity have always known of Steven Burke’s potential and, on behalf of all cyclists here in Pendle, we extend our warmest congratulations to Steven and his family for his gold medal performance in the velodrome, an incredible achievement.

We hear so much about how London 2012 will be about lasting legacies and inspiring generations - Steven will no doubt play his part and has done since 2008 and a Bronze Medal for the young “Burkie”.

The cycling scene here in Pendle has grown and developed massively since Beijing because of his dedication but also the drive and commitment of the borough’s council and local club Cycle Sport Pendle who have worked tirelessly to engage with young riders. We are happy to report a very healthy and active cycling scene right here on our doorstep.

We have all the ingredients here in Pendle, or nearly all!

An Olympic and World Champion, coaches, volunteers and a club ready and willing to deliver.

But to really bring home the London legacy promise we need one more ingredient - a purpose-built facility.

We do not need another iconic Velodrome like the impressive “Pringle” the scene of Steven’s triumph, but a more modest one-mile tarmac circuit for coaching, racing, and developing young riders.

That would be a facility that encourages participation and active lifestyles for riders with disabilities, in fact anyone who can ride a bike young or old.

It’s very “do-able” and a match-funding bid is being prepared by the borough’s Engineering and Parks team and a site has been earmarked.

But support from all quarters, financial or otherwise, would really bring home a lasting legacy to Pendle.

“The Burke Arena” sounds good to us, a fitting tribute dedicated to our Olympic Champion and a sporting legacy for generations to come.

Let’s make it happen!

Peter Boast CSP Development Officer

Neil Welsh CSP Club Chairman