Comment 69126

By H+H (registered) - website | Posted September 06, 2011 at 20:11:08


I really am prepared to be convinced. I have only watched Olympic cycling on TV. I have never been in a velodrome. What I understood from attending the GIC meeting where Mr. Mathieu spoke was that this facility would be, as Adrian has pointed out, an elite athlete facility. Of course, those elite athletes would not be using it every single day.

My concern is not with world class athletes, and their coaches, and their competitors using the facility, but rather with the number of days available to introduce kids to the sport. If a world class velodrome is located in Hamilton, built with a significant amount of Hamilton taxpayer's money at a time when we have very little to go around, then I want to be absolutely sure that all kids in Hamilton get access to and benefits from that facility. There are many kids in this city whose parents can't afford a bike, let alone one that would be allowed on this elite track. I'm not suggesting that if it doesn't work for the poorest of our kids then it's not worth doing, but $20,000,000 of city money, plus annual operating costs and long term maintenance costs, is a rather grand amount of money whether you are rich or poor.

If our city staff can provide details as to citizen access-by-demographic, it gives us something to work with. However, at the moment, we don't even know here we're getting the money for the velodrome itself not to mention the parking lot Mohawk wants replaced.

Details matter, even to people who have never been inside a velodrome. It's easy to say things such as, "We will engage the community in the ongoing use of the facility." What exactly does that mean? If we can be assured of how a youth program will work, I'm open to changing my view on this. At the moment, there is no information about this. We need some. At least I do.

As I see it, Olympic swimming pools and ice rinks are defined by their size. Both are flat areas filled with water. An olympic cycling track is a specially configured with high banks and a carefully maintained surface. You don't have to be good to get into a swimming pool or onto an ice rink. That much I know first hand. It seems to me, riding around a velodrome is a different matter.

Please educate me.

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