The need for speed as Cowra Motorcycle Club opens upgrades

Cowra Motorcycle Club celebrated Christmas a little early with Member for Cootamundra, Steph Cooke, joining representatives of Cowra Council and the club to officially open the upgrades at Woodstock Park Speedway.

The upgrades, which include a portable toilet block, portable office and first aid room, portable speedway tower, lighting and a shed covering for the race starting and pit area, were completed with $329,534 from Round 2 of the Stronger Country Communities Fund.

In opening the upgrades Ms Cooke said she had been amazed with how far the club had stretched the funding.

"I'm speechless, it's just incredible to see all of the different businesses, volunteers and club members that have come together with a passion and a vision to execute this Stronger Country Communities grant," she said.

"I've never seen a community group take one grant and be able to achieve so much, so many projects beyond the original scope of the original project.

"I've paid particular attention today to the presentation that the club has taken us through in regard to their original thinking around the project for which they were fully funded and the various steps they have then gone through to identify what else could be achieved at the same time."

Ms Cooke said the new facilities would benefit not only Woodstock and Cowra but the whole Central West.

"It really is a value add from an employment perspective, from the use of trades and materials, it's fantastic.

"What we are going to see now is growth right here in Woodstock through events like this and that is fantastic for small communities because we want them to grow."

Cowra mayor, Councillor Bill West, said the club's use of funds should be an example for others on how best to utilise what they are given.

"The state government has been very good in providing this sort of seed funding, but what the club has done is truly spectacular," he said.

"They've been able to get a considerable amount of value out of that (funding) and I think the state government and communities have really benefited from that money being able to be added onto the final result.

"It is really clever and I think it should stand up as a lesson for other organisations who are seeking funding on how to go about it, how to apply, have a long term plan, how to strategically think about what they need to do and then apply themselves to get it to happen."

Cr West said he was looking forward to the racing talent that would be produced in the region with these upgrades.

"Young people who are going to ride motorbikes at the speedway are going to benefit greatly, but so will the community, clubs and organisations that surround it as well.

"By providing this sort of facility it allows young riders to progress, allows young riders to have recreation and have some fun but it also helps the business community.

"People will come and stay in motels and they'll buy food and help promote the name of Cowra.

"This club has really facilitated a tremendous part of Woodstock and I'm sure it's something that will be treasured for a long time to come and be a great benefit to the community, not only the Cowra community but regionally as this becomes known and accepted as such a high class facility.

"It's around the social dollar value and social capital they create and you can't in some cases put a dollar value on that, it's really infinite in terms of the community's resilience giving people things to do and places to go and see and it brings people to the region in such a happy environment."

Cowra Motorcycle Club President, Steve Kurtz, said he was looking forward to hosting race meetings in 2021 with the club's new facilities.

"It's been a long haul but well and truly worth it," he said.

"I suppose it's been in the making now for going on two years since we got the grant.

"With COVID-19 in the middle of everything, it gave us a good bit of a hole to do the work we wanted to do because there wasn't too much racing going on out here.

"But everything we've got and have built is A1 so it's all good. We can put our efforts into running good meetings, especially of a Saturday night here in the summer, but also in the winter with the dirt track boys.

"We'll try and focus on the lights and getting some big meetings in, we've got to compete with the other big speedway tracks, Alidade, Mildura and Newcastle but the way the place is now we can definitely compete with all them and entice the better riders."

He said the club's future looked even brighter thanks to the new facilities.

"When my boys started this sort of track and the facilities we've got now wasn't here," he said.

"So the next generation coming through now, which we've got a lot of, that all want to follow in the footsteps of Todd and Brady have seen what can happen.

"Now that we have this facility here and up to scratch with tracks at FIM standard, it's all looking good for the future of the club and definitely the riders coming through.

"Especially when they come home from overseas, they'll love to come to Woodstock and put on a show for everyone."