The Freestyle Park Ticino (IG @freestyleparkticino) is a BMX Park located in the southern (Italian) part of Switzerland, in Cadenazzo (Canton Ticino). The beautiful landscape in the background makes it a perfect choise if you want to take a breath of fresh air but also some air time with your bike. Thanks to the olympic size of the ramps, back in October ’19 we hosted the first ever European Championships, and some big names took part at the event (included 2 olympic medalist). The owner of the Park, Stisa SA, gave the keys of the park to Simon Yacoub (IG @simonyacoub), architect, BMX rider and manager of the park and vice president of the “Associazione Freestyle Park Ticino” as he takes care of the Park and make sure to promote the sport and events in the region.
This past weekend, with the collaboration of the Swiss federation (Swiss Cycling), the Swiss Championships 2021 were held. Some riders from all over Switzerland took part of the event and the friendly vibes (typical of this region) made the day one for the books! Riders and public were stoked and the whole day there were nothing but big smiles!
Seeing the rise of some very young talented riders in the past few years, Alessio Tonoli and Alex Sideris to name some, Switzerland put itself in the worldwide panorama, and thanks to the freshly olympic bronze medalist Nikita Ducarroz, we re-confirmed our spot. Now that the public attention is there, we should involve federations, governments, politics to make sure that all this is not just hype but a possibility for a substantial growth over the next few years. With the right help and financial support I believe we can make these young talents take part of big events on the international circuit (if they want). How? we need to sit down and talk about it. By putting out a detailed program, by looking out for sponsors, by involving private people who believe in the project, by involving the National Youth Sport Center (for example the one in Tenero, next to the Park in Cadenazzo), and so on… Possibilities are out there.
Even though Switzerland is still relatively small in the worldwide BMX scene, now we have the structures and we need to take advantage of them by making sure that there is no limitation in the use (making it open for everybody - not only athletes- and not overcharging the entrance fee) and that somebody passioned take care of them (by riders, for riders).
Everyone knows how it works if we want to see kids progress, if we want that further generations of BMXers continue to ride BMX, it only works if we keep the flame alive. This works only by creating events, by keeping kids stoked, by offering them services (BMX courses) that allows to grow in a friendly and fun environment. By supporting them.
Hopefully I will, with the same passion and with the help of others as we did for this last event, organize official events but not only. It’s good to remember that BMX is not only about competition but also jams, chilled sessions and sometimes just hanging out and talk about life in general… “collaboration over competition” is my motto at the moment, because we don’t need to crumble an already jagged reality.
Words by Simon Yacoub