Visitors from all over were attracted to the skate park to see Liam Phillips open the new facility. Liam emphasised the importance of inspiring the younger generation through developments like Whitehill & Bordon’s skate park, and said without them, he may never have got into the sport.
“It is really important to have access to such great facilities which encourage youngsters. What is great is to think that people could start out here at Prince Philip Park, at age five, and one day become Olympic champions, competing on a bike or a board.”
The strong numbers that turned out to the opening is indicative of the large pool of talent in Whitehill & Bordon, excited about the opportunity to access these high-quality facilities to improve their skills.
James Leckie, project manager for the Whitehill & Bordon Regeneration Company, said, “The turnout for the opening was phenomenal and just goes to show that people are excited to see more and more facilities coming forward. The fences to the ramps came down the Monday prior to the event and we have seen it in use from the early hours every day. There is a natural community developing already, with those using the skatepark sharing equipment and trading tips and tricks.”
The opening of the skatepark is the next step in the delivery of Prince Philip Park by the Whitehill & Bordon Regeneration Company.
Positioned at the top of Budds Lane, at its junction with Station Road, the skatepark will eventually include a nearby cafe and youth-activity centre.
Liam Phillips opens the new Whitehill and Bordon skatepark
Liam Phillips – British BMX Ace
Liam began cycling in 1994 when he was just five years old and in 1999, he had already won his first European BMX Championship title.
In 2008, aged 19, Liam made it to the quarter-final stage at the Beijing Olympic Games where BMX was making it’s debut.
Liam was tempted to take part in the velodrome, as he possessed the power output potential to push for a position in the Track Sprint team, but in the end, he decided that the BMX track was where he could do the most damage and where his heart truly was.
In 2012, Liam won a silver medal at the BMX World Championships, but sadly in the SX (Supercross) World Cup format, he fell and broke his collarbone. This was just ten weeks out from the London 2012 Olympic Games, a chance for Liam to show a home crowd all that he can do. Incredibly, he managed to recover and line himself up in the final of the Games, but sadly lost his footing and crashed out of the race.
Liam showed great maturity and resolve to bounce back from the setback of missing a medal at his home Olympics, and in 2013 at the BMX World Championships in Auckland, Liam won all of his races on the way to taking the rainbow jersey and crowning off an incredible comeback year as World Champion.
In 2014, Liam was not able to retain his World Championship title but became the first British male to win the UCI SX World Cup series. Unfortunately, his Rio Olympics was a similar story to London, as he crashed out of the competition in the quarter-finals in a heavy fall.
Although Liam has never had the Olympics he dreamed of, his world-class quality is undoubtedly justified. Liam is a role model and inspiration to the next generation of cycling and his strength in the face of adversity is what has kept him at the top of his game for so long, so to have him inspiring the talent around Whitehill & Bordon was fantastic.
Who knows, the next British BMX superstar could master their craft from this very skate park.
Liam Phillips, Team GB BMX Star – Whitehill & Bordon