When Peckham BMX club first started, the youngsters who came to use it had to navigate around pools of stagnant water, filled with fridges and bed frames.
Now, 15 years and a £1m revamp later, it’s an international standard cycling facility. And some of those young people who used to dodge the ironmongery are now lifting silverware.
It is all down to the passion of one man, with the support of a community.
Michael Pusey MBE is that man. Except around here, he’s known as CK Flash.
He told Sky News: “This track that we built in 2013 with Southwark council is doing amazing things with kids on the estate, who maybe would be in youth crime or involved in gangs.
“They know they can come here, get a free bike, get a free helmet, and ride the track and get training from someone like myself.”
In the shadow of the tower blocks, it has made world champions and Olympians out of young men and women who may well have taken a different path – men like British Cycling’s Quillan Isidore.
At just 22, Quillan is a multiple national BMX champion and a former junior world champion.
“I was one of those kids who was always troublesome and hanging out with the wrong crowd,” he said.
“But CK with his discipline was really strict and on it. He taught me to be so focused on what I wanted to achieve. It really changed me. I thought this is what I want to do with my life. So why would I waste it doing anything else.
“I reckon it changed me into a man, to be honest.”
In an area once better known for gangs than elite cyclists, CK brought discipline and dignity. Tardiness, bad behaviour and arrogance in his club are simply not tolerated.
His proteges say this is a place that saves lives.
Olympic hopefuls Kye Whyte and his brother Tre owe their success to the club. As does Blaine Ridge-Davis, former junior women’s European BMX champion, and now a track cyclist for British Cycling.
It is a venue with an incredible record, producing 70% of the current Olympic BMX team. And its future is hopefully as bright as its past.
CK has plans to expand the facility with a skate park, parkour and climbing walls, providing more ways for young people to exceed even their own expectations and stay on the right track.
Kye Whyte, visiting the track with teammate Quillan to help motivate the next generation of young stars, summed up what Peckham BMX club can do.
“As you know, knife crime now is at a rate where it’s unacceptable,” he said.
“For your kid to get out of that, it’s tough. But it’s very easy to get into it because the people that are doing the knife crime are the older guys around the estates.
“They are setting the example for the younger guys, who want to be like them. So it’s so easy to be led down that route.
“But thanks to CK, I chose the route of BMX.”