Olympian fulfils Robin’s wish
by Andy Bryenton
Nearly 40 years ago, Robin Branch, a Dargaville resident wanting to improve the town’s recreational opportunities, came up with the idea of a BMX bike park.
Robin’s dream, which has become his legacy since his passing, takes shape at Selwyn Park, thanks to Olympic athlete Trent Jones and a team of local organisations, businesses and individuals. Part of the group who worked alongside Robin on previous attempts to construct the bike part, Trevor Moss is full of praise for all those who have taken part in the design and construction process and provided moral and practical support.
“It will be the Robin Branch memorial track,” he says. “It’s the culmination of many people’s hard work. When this is finished, it will be an asset to the town for people of all ages, on all kinds of wheels.”
Robin gave money toward his vision, some of which was put into the development of Dargaville’s successful Sportsville complex. Trevor says that while that facility is more focussed on team-based, structured sports, the Selwyn Park area has a more freestyle atmosphere.
Operating the digger right now on-site is Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games contender Trent Jones, now a world-renowned designer of BMX tracks.
Trent says that he’s been working hard to incorporate the lines of the neighbouring skate park with the ‘pump’ style bike track now taking shape.
Visitors to the park may have seen his piles of raw materials, digger and compactor behind an orange fence as the work commences. A big part of it is having an eye for how it will ride, says Trent.