A Sydney River, N.S., boy is one step closer to having his dream come true.
Kail Dutt has been campaigning for a pump track, a special course designed for bikes and often scooters and skateboards, to be built in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality for about six months.
On Thursday, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency promised to pay $75,000, or roughly half of the cost to design and build one.
The project's total cost is roughly $150,000, which includes its design and construction.
"I'm hoping that a lot of people are going to use it," said Dutt, 10, during a virtual announcement held over Zoom.
Design work ahead
Pump tracks are obstacle courses typically made up of asphalt or dirt. They feature moguls, ramps and bumps that are strategically placed to generate speed. The pump track name stems from the way riders use their upper body to push through bends and curves.
Although it is described as being accessible to all, Dutt asked politicians Thursday whether the pump track would be made of asphalt or dirt.
"If it's asphalt it will be accessible to scooters, skateboards, wheelchairs, bikes and Rollerblades," he said.
CBRM Mayor Amanda McDougall said feedback from people like Dutt will be important as the project moves forward.
The exact location of the park has yet to be decided, but McDougall said it will be somewhere in District 12.
The municipality plans to contribute its own money toward the track, while the province will be asked to foot the remainder of the bill.
"We have so much growth going on in the region," McDougall said. "We also have to focus on the youth and we have to focus on our families. And so I'm really happy that this is youth driven."
Last summer, when he was nine, Dutt started a campaign to bring a pump track to his hometown after testing one out in Dartmouth, N.S. He described a feeling of weightlessness when pumping up and down over the Shubie Park track's peaks and valleys.
Coun. Lorne Green said he's excited to have this type of popular park in his district, as he hopes it will bring forward new opportunities.
"Around the world, it's a pretty competitive business," Green said.
"There's huge corporate sponsors that put on events on these tracks, and I'm looking forward to those type of things happening within CBRM."
The municipality expects the Sydney-area pump track will get off the ground some time in the new year.
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