Gratitude prompts funding

23:02, Nov 21 2012
Paul Langland
Top New Zealand BMX rider Paul Langland jumps one of the trails that has received a $5000 sponsorship form Queenstown's Atlas Cafe.

The Wynyard mountainbike freestyle park and Wynyard Express downhill track have received $5000 sponsorship from Atlas bar and cafe - the first non-bike related sponsorship of tracks so far constructed on hope and faith.

The Fernhill freestyle park is renowned as the most developed park in the country, with take-off ramps of up to two metres allowing bikers to perform a multitude of aerial tricks and manoeuvres.

The Wynyard Express downhill trail is revered by local riders and a magnet to visiting bikers looking to test their mettle on one of the most well-known downhill tracks in New Zealand.

The park and track have evolved over the last eight years under the management of Queenstown Mountain Bike Club's track builder and designer Nathan Greenwood.

Along the way, help has come from the Community Trust of Southland, and Central Lakes Trust as well as contracting firm Fulton and Hogan.

Mr Greenwood said there was a "real faith and hope aspect" to everything the club built almost a decade ago.

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"Faith that the sport would grow, and hope that the people of Queenstown and local businesses would see that growth as adding real value to their customer base.

"So it's really great to have Davey, as the owner of the first non-bike related business to get involved, help make that happen.

"By giving us sponsorship he's acknowledging the whole biking fraternity as valued customers and putting money into the upkeep of the tracks that draw and keep those customers here in Queenstown."

Atlas owner Davey McKenzie said support was something he had been on the receiving end of - and he was happy to reciprocate.

"Our first two customers were guys who pulled up here on mountain bikes, and ever since then we've become a bit of a hub for riders.

"They're a good exciting crew to have as some of your core customers, and doing something like this is just far more beneficial than putting those dollars into advertising. They look after us, and now we feel like we're helping look after them."

The money had been matched by the mountainbike club, and was being spent on a rebuild of sections of the downhill track and remodelling of the freestyle park.

"The area was becoming a bit neglected, and its really exciting to see it overhauled and becoming the facility it can be.

"It was just a big mess after the loggers had been in there eight years ago and we turned it into a great recreational space that people can use for free," Mr Greenwood said.

2012 Queenstown Bike Season Kick Off' from Tim Pierce - Zeros&Ones on Vimeo.

The Southland Times