The inaugural winner of the Chris Hoy trophy today added his voice to the campaign to save Meadowbank.
Callum Skinner is a highly talented cyclist who rides for the Meadowbank-based City of Edinburgh club. He is only 16 but has already excelled in both sprint and long-distance competition. His coaches hope he will get a place on the prestigious Olympic Development Programme and represent his country at future Commonwealth and Olympic Games. Yesterday he was the first recipient of the Chris Hoy Trophy, a new award to honour promising young cyclists in the east of Scotland.
“We need a replacement track cycle facility in Edinburgh,” said the James Gillespie’s High pupil. “The existing track might be worn but to demolish it and not have a replacement would be a great mistake. It would cost the cycling community in Edinburgh and mean we fail to pick up new track riders.”
He also emphasised the benefit of having the cycle track alongside other sport facilities. “I used to play squash at Meadowbank and I do think it’s located in a fantastic part of the city. If we lose what we’ve got then Meadowbank will become a deprived area in terms of sports facilities.”
Allister Watson, his former coach and a director of Scottish Cycling, said: “Callum is the latest in a long list of cyclists who have graduated from the Meadowbank velodrome. We need to keep a track cycling facility so as future generations can get the same chance.¨
Save Meadowbank spokesman Kevin Connor added: “Chris Hoy made very valid points when he called for the Meadowbank velodrome to be saved. The same arguments apply for all the sports that currently take place at Meadowbank.
“We call upon the Lib Dem/SNP administration to show leadership, listen to what thousands of people are saying and retain ALL the facilities at Meadowbank, not just a few of them.”