Kelvin Batey BMX IrelandThe first BMX race in Ireland for over 20 years was held at the new Ratoath BMX track on the outskirts of Dublin.

This was held in the last weekend of November and what a memorable and amazing weekend it was for everyone involved.

Words: Kelvin Batey

kelvin batey ireland bmx

Kelvin and crew having a grand old time at the new Ratoath BMX track.

Kelvin: Having travelled in on Friday, Emily and I were out early on Saturday morning facing the cold and windy Irish weather head on when we went to the track to practice with the other guys who would be racing at the weekend.

On our arrival at the track it was obvious to see the hard work that had gone into building the track by everyone involved at the Ratoath Club who had gone to so much effort into attaining permission to use the land, funding to pay for the materials and then the graft that went into the actual build. The track was very similar to Manchester outdoor track in the layout with a good fast first two straights and the more technical jumps on straights 3 and 4.

IRISH BMX Back on the map! kelvin batey

Irelands Kelvin Batey giving the Ratoath BMX track a good pasting!

Through Saturday, people came and went on a regular basis but despite the weather conditions there was a continuous 50-60 rider’s using the track until it went dark.  A few of us then went out to a local bar where BMX was the focus of topic with old skool stories being told and talk of the progression the sport will make in Ireland over the coming years.

Race day and we woke up to clear blue skies with everyone feeling positive for how the day was going to go. Shay McNally, the Chairman of Ratoath along with Eamonn Wyre have both done so much in getting the club up and running and when we arrived at the track they seemed to be everywhere, trying to make sure things were being run properly along with the other members of the club. Everyone had seemed to pull together in making sure this would be a day to remember.

IRISH BMX Back on the map!

Not seen since yester year. BMX racing in Ireland is back on the map!

A few riders from the UK and Isle of Man had turned up in supporting the event with the rider count hitting the 170 mark. Among those 170 riders there were a variety of bikes, abilities and experience but each rider was there to have a good time and give it their best. There was some great racing in all the age groups with an amazing atmosphere around the track.
There were quite a few age groups with semi finals and most with finals so when the day got around to the business end you could see most of the guys getting more focused when there was more to race for. For most riders, it was their first ever race so it was being treated as their own National Championships.

IRISH BMX Back on the map! Kelvin Batey

Kelvin Batey flying the Irish Flag

The finals went through brilliantly and there was some real close racing in all the age groups. When getting on the gate for the Pro/30+ final I could feel the atmosphere in the crowd and it was a pleasure to be on the gate with some of Irelands Elite riders of years gone by. At the finish line all the guys stopped to shake hands with every other rider without exception, something that I thought showed what the whole day was all about.

We spent some time with the younger riders and parents after the race as you could tell everyone was pumped and already looking forward to the next race in Ratoath, something I hope to make it over for once again.

IRISH BMX Back on the map!

Kelvin forget to have his Guinness the night before...

Being part of such an historic weekend and seeing new riders start off on what could be new careers really brought it home of how I started out in BMX and I’m looking forward to seeing the progression that all these riders can make in the next few years.

Irish BMX is back on the map and this time it’s here to stay!
Kelvin Batey


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