MIDDLETON, NS - The new All-Wheel Riding Park in Middleton will get it’s first good workout Oct. 14 when kids of all ages from around the province will bring their BMX bikes, scooters, and skateboards to Rotary Park.
The Middleton All-Wheel Competition starts at 11 a.m. and includes four age groups in all three disciplines with a $10 fee for those 13years of age and up with money being used for prizes in those age categories. Registration is on site the day of the competition.
Age categories are 0 to 6, 7 to 12, 13 to 16, and 16+. There will be prizes for all ages – plus bragging rights.
“We’re opening the all-wheel park competition to anybody who wishes to participate,” said Andy Kerr, programs and communications coordinator for the Town Of Middleton. “Now that we’ve been open for almost a full year we have a bit of notoriety and there are lots of kids in the neighbouring communities that come and use it. So we suspect that due to the fact that we’ve got a major sponsor this time, we’ve got the excellent network provided by Cool Moves BMX -- an excellent group of volunteers -- we suspect we’re going to have a good showing this time. The weather should be decent, mid-October. We’ll get a good crowd.”
Kerr expects competitors will come from as far away as Truro in the central region, but isn’t sure how far afield in Southwest Nova Scotia, but added that Chris Hiltz with Cool Moves BMX has been out in that area advertising a lot.
“At the end of October there’s going to be another contest at the eastern end of the Valley and their co-promoting this one for us,” said Kerr.
Attraction to these all-wheel sports has been nothing short of exceptional.
“I’ve seen probably one of the largest uptakes in participation with this discipline than many of the others,” said Kerr. “It was already popular but the kids didn’t have any place to go. You’d see them at typical venues like Ciderfest and Wharf Rat and things like that with their own ramps.”
Kerr said when the town built something they could call their own, and that they could go to any time they want, participation was high.
“We saw participation, uptake, even when we were doing repairs on it,” said Kerr in reference to fixing the bowl after vandals drove a car into it. “Kids were showing up and getting to dip in the bowl – trying to get away with it. It has been very popular, so we’re pretty pleased with that.”
Despite the vandalism in July the youngsters are looking after the bowl.
“For the most part they’ve taken care of it,” said Kerr, noting they take a certain pride in it. “It’s the bowl they also built. They put their blood, sweat, and tears into raising funds for that bowl. They did the lion’s share of work getting the interest behind it, the impetus behind it, making it exciting for sponsors, making it exciting for the town. I credit them with the success of it.”
Not only has it been a success, Kerr has seen no age clashes at the bowl, and being an all-wheel park he’s seen no clashes between disciplines. “They all use it respectfully,” he said.
When it comes to the Oct. 14 competition, Kerr’s not sure how many participants they’ll get in each category.
“The registration kind of drives the emphasis on the competition,” he said. “We don’t do pre-registrations in other words. It’s a culture in itself and we’re learning it.”