The state government has confirmed that Bunbury will host the 2018 BMX Australian national championships.
The event was secured through Tourism WA with Perth also given a chance to host the event in 2021.
BMX is one of the fastest growing sports in Australia, with the country attracting the second biggest number of participants behind the USA.
Sport and Recreation minister Mick Murray said BMX racing has a massive following, becoming an Olympic sport in 2008.
“According to BMX Australia, it was the second most watched sport at Rio 2016,” Mr Murray said.
“Riders of all ages can compete in BMX race meetings throughout Australia, making it a great family friendly pursuit.
“The event will also help to activate community operated infrastructure, such as the BMX tracks in the South-West and Perth.”
Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan said the news that Bunbury will host the event goes a long way towards the government’s goal to see a boost to regional tourism.
“The 2018 event will provide a fantastic opportunity to promote Bunbury as an exciting and vibrant regional city to thousands of visitors, and provide a boost for the local economy,” she said.
More than 2,000 interstate competitors and supporters are expected for each event, making a significant contribution to the state’s economy, which in turn creates jobs.
The championships will be held at the Bunbury BMX Track over six days from March 20 to 25 and feature warm-up sessions, heats and finals.
All riding classes are represented by divisional male and female riders aged five to over 50.
Tourism minister Paul Papalia said events such as the BMX National Championships encourage high levels of visitation, which provides a boost to the economy, adds further vibrancy to WA and attracts national media attention.
“Supporting mass participation events such as this will showcase our transformed city to thousands of people and help spread the word about the significant changes taking place,” he said.
“Tourism contributed $10 billion to WA’s economy in 2016 and is a key pillar of the State Government’s plan to diversify the economy, create jobs and develop business opportunities.”
BMX Australia President Neil Cameron said the partnership with Tourism WA and the City of Bunbury was a win-win for all parties.
“The board of BMXA and I are thrilled to enter into this partnership that will help grown BMX in Western Australia and further nationalise our sport,” Mr Cameron said.
“Our BMX family have the ability to contribute a considerable amount to the WA economy and Tourism WA and the City of Bunbury will help us maintain the standard of event that our members expect and deserve.”
The event will also be a chance for a large Bunbury crowd to cheer on home-town hero Lauren Reynolds, who is a dual Olympian and former Oceania BMX champion.
Ms Reynolds said Bunbury would be a welcoming venue for such a prestigious event.
“Bringing the BMXA Nationals to Bunbury is wonderful news for riders from all over Australia,” Reynolds said.
“It’s a beautiful part of Western Australia and Bunbury BMX track has been such a special part of my life.
“I hope the rest of the BMXA family can make the trip and take home some precious memories too.”
Just last month the 26-year-old made the final of the World BMX Championships in America, finishing seventh.
Bunbury Mayor Gary Brennan was thrilled that Bunbury would be hosting such a prestigious and exciting event in 2018.
“The Bunbury BMX track is one of the best in Western Australia and with the support of the Bunbury BMX Club and the City of Bunbury, we are expecting a sensational event,” Mayor Brennan said.
“With over 2000 people set to compete in and attend the event over a five-day period, it will also be a fantastic boon for our local accommodation, hospitality and retail industries.”