Balfour youngsters are ‘‘wheelie’’ excited about a new pump track in the town.

Southland Mayor Rob Scott opened the track on Saturday in front of a crowd of about 200.

The Balfour Lions Club project cost about $100,000.

In September last year, Ardlussa Community Board members approved the project and a grant of $80,000 to go towards the cost of the build from the Balfour reserve fund.

The Lions Club funded the difference.

It was agreed once the track was built ownership would pass to the Southland District Council, which is responsible for the children’s playground and public toilets nearby.

Focused . . . Beauden Stewart (7), of Balfour, concentrates as he cycles his way around one of the sharp bends in the new pump track. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

The track was made by professional track builders Graded Earth Ltd and took about three weeks.

Beauden Stewart, of Balfour, rode his bike on the track.

‘‘It has quite a few pumps and it’s really fun,’’ he said.

At first it was hard figuring out how to ride the track but with practice he improved.

It was a good facility for the town because it would encourage children to get outdoors, he said.

‘‘It gets lots of kids attracted to it so they don’t [use] technology all the time and they’ll have fun on it.’’

Riley Duff (8), of Balfour, who rode his scooter on the track, said it was ‘‘awesome’’.

‘‘It’s slower than a bike but you can do better tricks without falling off.’’

Hard yards . . . Ella McLean (6), of Balfour, makes her way up a steeper part of the town’s new pump track, which was opened on Saturday. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON
Officially open . . . Southland Mayor Rob Scott cuts the ribbon to open the Balfour pump track while Balfour Lions Club president John van Vliet and some eager young cyclists watch. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

Lions Club president John van Vliet said he was very impressed with the track.

‘‘It’s beautiful. You just want to be a kid again if you see these kids flying over there.’’

He was planning on riding the track when there were not too many others on it.

Community board chairman Richard Clarkson said the community had led the project and the board backed it.

‘‘It was felt it was a good project for the township.’’

A half-sized basketball court would also be built nearby.

Downhill . . . Balfour’s Eve Eaton rides her bicycle around a bend in the town’s new pump track which was opened on Saturday. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON
Onwards . . . George Stewart (5) of Balfour tries out the town’s new pump track which was opened on Saturday. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON