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Plymouth to host HSBC UK 2020 National Cross-country Championships

Plymouth has been chosen to host the 2020 National Cross-Country Championships.

British Cycling announced the HSBC UK championships would happen at Plympton’s Newnham Park, which is claimed to possess a “long history of hosting all-terrain bike racing” and even staged a World Cup round in 1984.

The championships will happen over the weekend of July 18 and July 19, combining with the Exposure Lights TwentyFour12 Festival – a four time off road cycling event – creating a week-long celebration of mountain biking.

Plymouth was said to possess been chosen as 2020 may be a “significant year for the city”, with the Mayflower 2020 celebrations.

Event organizer, Matt Williams, said: “We are hugely excited to bring the HSBC UK National Cross-country Championships back to Newnham Park in Plymouth, particularly as 2020 will already be a big year for the town because it commemorates 400 years since the sailing of the Mayflower.

Newnham Park has long been a classic all-terrain bike race venue, and for the last 15 years has hosted the Exposure Lights TwentyFour12 all-terrain bike endurance event.

This year, that event falls the weekend after the national championships, and with mountain biking continuing to grow in popularity within the south west, Plymouth is looking forward to hosting an incredible week of mountain biking and other activities for people to enjoy.

The HSBC UK National Cross-country Championships and therefore the Exposure Lights TwentyFour12 Festival will complement a summer of cultural and community Mayflower 400 events and exhibitions in Plymouth, which mark the 400th year of the sailing of the long-lasting ship from the town to its city in Massachusetts, USA.

The festival, championships, and events like the fresh Little Harbour Children’s Hospice South West Colour Craze 5k, which can happen on the ultimate day of the championships, will create a legacy for the community.

2020 HSBC UK | National Cross-country Championships:

Newnham Park: 18-19 July

2020 HSBC UK | National Cross-country Series:

Round 1: Hadleigh (Essex), 21-22 March

Round 2: Dalby (North Yorkshire), 18-19 April

Round 3: Glentress (Tweed Valley, Scottish Borders), 9-10 May

Round 4: Woody’s Bike Park (Fowey, Cornwall), 6-7 June

Round 5: Cannock (Staffordshire), 4-5 July

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Multi-sports hub focused on community sport recommended for New Plymouth Raceway

A multi-sports hub has been recommended to be established at New Plymouth Racecourse by independent experts.

Sport Taranaki commissioned Global Leisure Group and 106 Architects, which were responsible for Christchurch’s Ngā Puna Wai Sports Complex, to come up with a master plan for a sports hub in Taranaki.

A response to frustration felt by sports codes over a lack of facilities, the investigation was endorsed by the region’s three district council’s last year.

Sport Taranaki chief executive officer Michael Carr said basketball was an example of a sport that was missing out. The New Plymouth Basketball Association needs 87% more indoor court space than they can access at the three-court TSB Stadium. New Plymouth is one of only 4 regions, the others including West Coast, Gisborne, and Northland, without a six indoor court facility.

Carr, who backed the recommendation for a multi-sports hub, said a second hockey turf and more volleyball courts were also envisaged.

Sport Taranaki has been a vocal critic of the $50 million repair and upgrade of the quakeprone Yarrow Stadium, arguing it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to work towards a genuine multi-sports facility.

The Taranaki Regional Council, the stadium’s owner, is forging ahead with its plans for Taranaki and Yarrow residents have already started paying a 25-year targeted rate for the project.

Carr said if the proposed hub catered for the 16 sports groups already involved, at least 15,000 people a week could use it for practices, games, events and tournaments.

That figure didn’t include potential and recreational users, he said.

Taranaki Racing also supported the concept. The consultants will go on to work alongside stakeholders in order to draft concept plans and explore governance models and this should be completed by June 2020.

The intention is to develop a master plan for the next Draft New Plymouth District Council Long Term Plan to be released for public consultation in early 2021.