MUSSELBURGH’S BMX track is being restored to its former glory... more than 25 years since Olympic legend Sir Chris Hoy raced there.

The project has been supported by a team of 10 Vodafone engineers who braved freezing temperatures and snow flurries last week to use their expertise to help fit a start gate which is essential for hosting competitions.

They also cleared rubbish and weeds from the track at Balcarres Road –home to Musselburgh Monarchs BMX Club, which reformed in 2012.

The track was partially refurbished but never had a working start gate, so racers have had to travel to the Cumbernauld Centurions BMX Race Club’s base sometimes two or three times a week to train.

Ian Archibald, former British BMX champion and Musselburgh club chairman, said: “Having the Vodafone team along has really kickstarted the club again and we will have all the remaining work complete by mid-January.

“With a functioning start gate, it means we will hold two rounds of the Scottish Regional BMX Race series in 2018. This will be the first racing here since I last raced with the likes of Sir Chris Hoy over 25 years ago, which is amazing.”

The Vodafone engineers chose the Musselburgh BMX project as part of the company’s Giving Something Back programme in which staff get the chance to donate a day’s labour to a good cause and support the local community.

Raymond Reid, one of the engineers and a former chairman of Cumbernauld Centurions, said: “With only two other racing tracks, located in the west, it was high time that the Musselburgh track began its return to glory and once again began to mould future champions.

“Since BMX racing is a sport for families of all ages and abilities and is a brilliant way to learn bike handling skills in a safe closed-circuit environment, it was deemed a worthy cause to donate to.

“We were made very welcome and were very well catered for by local businesswoman Jennifer Reynolds from the Artisan Van.”

The engineers fitted a refurbished start gate from a track in Peterborough, with some parts gifted by the Cumbernauld Centurions and others made locally.

The track is also being re-modelled, with remaining work to be done on the second, third and fourth straights.

BMX or Bicycle Motocross started in the late 1960s in the USA.

Its popularity dropped in the 1990s but made a resurgence when it became an Olympic sport at the 2008 Beijing Games.

Musselburgh Monarchs are not short on talent with four top-eight UK riders including Musselburgh pair Ian Archibald, who was a European Championship finalist, and Stewart Campbell, who races in the Veterans category, as well as Logan Taylor and Jake Nisbet from Tranent, competitors in the Male 10 category.

East Lothian Courier:

Musselburgh BMX star Ian Archibald in the lead during a race, with fellow Musselburgh Monarchs rider Stewart Campbell in second place and Raymond Reid, Cumbernauld Centurions, in fourth

The Musselburgh track is now ready to hold novice and expert coaching sessions from the end of January on Saturday afternoons.

Sir Chris Hoy, from Edinburgh, is one of Great Britain’s most successful Olympic athletes of all time, with six gold medals and one silver.

He raced BMX between the ages of seven and 14 and was ranked second in Britain, fifth in Europe and ninth in the world.