Upgrade for Blenheim Park’s remote control racers

EVERY weekend at Blenheim Park in North Ryde, dozens of friendly rivals converge on a modest-sized race track eager to get involved in some action – of the remote control car kind.

They’re a diverse bunch of differing abilities that’s increasing in size and about to – if not already – outgrow a venue now showing obvious signs of strain, wear and tear.

Ryde councillor Jordan Lane believes the success and ongoing popularity of the Sydney Radio Control Car Club (SRCCC) and the unique racing track facility its members utilise needs to be acknowledged with some love in the form of an upgrade by council.

One of the outstanding aspects of this leisure activity is its ability to provide what is effectively a level playing field between able-bodied competitors and those who are mobility impaired.

“You can see by the number of tents set up around this Blenheim Park venue, it’s an enormously popular sport for remote control car enthusiasts,” he told The Weekly Times.

“I went to the site several weeks ago to explore improvements to what is a very old race platform, built more than 30 years ago. It has some pretty weathered paint over it and all-stair access.

“One of the things pointed out to me was that there were plenty of racers with mobility issues, who couldn’t always get up the stairs.”

Tom Harden, an executive committee member with the SRCCC, said the costs of staging weekend meets – including automated track announcements and results Êcompilation – was met by members and fundraising including the club’s BBQ offerings.

“We’re keen for some ramp access to the stand (race platform),” he said.

“If we can get that through, then I’d be interested to also see what sort of support we could be provides with earthmoving-type equipment.

“We spend a lot of time trying to filter the soil to get the rocks out and if there’s existing equipment É we can perhaps sweat it a bit harder for the benefit of the club.”

Clr Lane has wasted no time raising the issue as a newly-elected Ryde councillor at November’s council meeting.

With the unanimous support of his fellow councillors, the need to upgrade the elevated racing platform to expand accessibility for the mobility impaired was acknowledged.

Council resolved to immediately begin talks with the SRCCC to identify a cost-effective solution to accommodate enthusiasts of all levels of ability, while also meeting the technical specifications for the sport.

A report outlining accessibility options is to be provided to council’s Works and Community Committee early in the new year.