At the group’s monthly meeting on Wednesday, May 3, the Forsyth County Parks and Recreation Board voted to move ahead with a new, portable cycling track and took a look at where athletes are playing sports on rectangular fields.
Velodrome track drives forward
Members voted 4-0, with member Kimberly Brown absent, for parks staff to work with Michael Barman, president of the East Point Track Club, to find a suitable place in Forsyth County for a potential portable velodrome, a cycle-racing track with steep curves.
“We really wanted to help the north side be involved in velodrome racing,” Barman said.
Barman said the plan is to have the velodrome stored in College Park in the winter and Forsyth County in the summer.
No future site was determined at the meeting and staff members said they want to gauge board members’ interest before moving ahead.
Potential areas discussed were Windermere Park, which was determined to have parking problems, and property at the Cumming Fairgrounds or one of the adjacent parking lots in a possible agreement with the City of Cumming, which is outside the department’s jurisdiction.
Barman said the program would be focused on getting children involved. About 20 people are able to use the track at once.
“We’re more interested in developing the youth cycling and doing instruction, masters riding and racing and fewer large events,” he said. “We’re more inclined to use the velodrome as an event center when it is wintering down in college park.”
The matter will come back to the board at a later meeting.
Youth field space choice examined
During the meeting, the board and staff also looked at the usage of square field space and the breakdown of where youth athletes are playing. Field space access and availability has been an issue in the past for youth football, soccer and lacrosse programs.
“I feel like this kind of shows that the majority of people are playing in their back yard or close to it,” Athletics Manager Wayne Maddox said.
Youth soccer programs in the county are through the YMCA and United Futbol Academy, meaning the county does not have as much information as for other sports.
“With soccer and those two organizations, their numbers and their skill level is so big, it’s not as easy to notice if I live here, I’ll go to this park,” Maddox said.
Maddox said field space is in high demand and the department tries to accommodate as best it can.
“What we’d like to do as best we can is have one rectangle field to every about 116 participants,” Maddox said. “The map does not work out perfectly, but I hope these three maps together show you we’re doing the best we can with what we’ve got.”
No action was taken at the meeting.