Warman Diamond BMX Club is the fastest-growing BMX club in Saskatchewan, and thanks to a complete track overhaul this spring, now boasts one of the best tracks in Canada. The new track was designed by Trent Jones, a New Zealand native and one of the top BMX bikers in the world.
BMX, short for Bicycle Motocross, began in the 1970s and has become a popular sport. Sprint style races take place on a dirt track on small, fast bicycles that are designed to be ridden standing up. Up to eight riders compete at one time in each qualifying race, or moto. A race will have three motos, with the winner determined by finishing position calculated over the motos. Riders are categorized by age, and within the age groups they are divided by skill level. All riders start as novice and work up to more advanced levels. Equipment required is a full faced helmet, similar to, but lighter than, motocross helmets (available at Atlas Outdoors Cycle and Recreation in Warman), a long sleeved nylon jersey, motocross gloves and long pants, and closed-toe shoes.
Niall Schofield, president of Diamond BMX Club, has had a love for BMX biking since he began riding at the age of seven and is passionate about helping kids and adults in Warman have the opportunity to excel at this sport. He promotes the club motto: ‘Building Future Olympians.’
“Diamond BMX Club started with a half season last year with 23 riders, and this year we have 56, so it has doubled in size in less than a year. BMX is the fastest growing cycling sport in Saskatchewan, and some people might say it can be a transition sport.” Niall Schofield says. “Some riders, when done with BMX may end up doing Downhill Mountain Biking or Motocross.” Many riders stay in BMX and find success, such as Olympian BMX biker, Trent Jones, who won his first national title at the age of 11 and rose to become one of the world’s top ten ranked riders.
Schofield is happy with the progress of the fledgling club that was on the verge of folding when he became president. “I am extremely proud of this club. This is a dream come true for me as I used to race growing up. People thought I was crazy when I used to say, ‘One day I will build the best track in Canada.’ It was always at the back of my mind, so when I joined the club I was able to raise $443,000 in sponsorships to make it happen.” Schofield explains. When he first rode the original track he found that there were a few issues making it difficult to gain and maintain momentum, as well as sections that were too challenging for the average rider. He enlisted the expertise of world-renowned BMX rider Trent Jones to redesign it and along with the City of Warman, created the track that is now known as ‘the Gem of Saskatchewan.’
This track is the best BMX track in Western Canada, likely in all of Canada.” - Niall Schofield, President of Diamond BMX Club
Track designer Trent Jones says, “I’ve been extremely honoured to put Warman on the map for BMX, as also coming from a small rural community (back home in NZ) I understand first hand how much of a positive impact these sorts of projects can offer kids and their futures. It’s been awesome to see the local businesses really get behind and help turn the first stages of Niall’s vision into reality. Certainly exciting times ahead with the rapid growth of BMX in the wider area.”
The club is very grateful for the support of so many local businesses who stepped up to help with this huge endeavor. Sponsorship came in many forms besides monetary, such as dirt and material donations, use of equipment and much more. “It’s really amazing that we were able to pull this together so quickly with the support of so many fantastic businesses in our area,” says Schofield.
The track is open to the public except times when the club is using it for practices: Sundays 4 pm to 6 pm, and race days 5 pm to 8 pm on Tuesdays.
Members of the Diamond BMX club have the unique opportunity to also use a track in Saskatoon. Schofield explains, “We have a partnership with Saskatoon’s Globe BMX so anyone who has a Diamond BMX membership can go race in Saskatoon on Thursdays at Globe’s track. We also accept their members so they can join in on our Tuesday race days. They are two totally different tracks. Their track is a little tighter and smaller, but in excellent shape, and our track is a bit bigger and more challenging for the lungs. So it is actualy the best of both worlds, to give our riders a chance to expand their skillset.” Globe BMX has been a great resource for the Warman club offering guidance on efficiency and accuracy in following the rules of the sport. “The support from Globe BMX has been amazing and we wouldn’t be where we are without them,” says Schofield.
Warman is host to BMX Sask Cup (Three and Four) on August 10 and 11, 2019. If you plan to compete, you can register at diamonondbmx.com until August 8. Or bring a lawn chair and be there for all the exhilaration and fun. The August 10 races begin at 3 pm with entertainment and beer gardens at 6 pm. On August 11 the excitement begins at 11 am.
For more information or to join the club, see diamondbmx.com.