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A dreary day yesterday took me down to Poole to watch some racing rather than miles in the rain. You may have never come across Cycle Speedway? Its a sport with obscure origins, emerging out of the post war London society, where bombed out sites made excellent tracks. The bikes are minimal, single speed brakeless bikes that are raced on high speed sprints- races are 4 person, 4 lap sprint which is a tactical as well as physical challenge with lots of cat and mouse play that is fantastic to watch on a short track. Poole cycle speedway are the Man. United of the sport, with more trophies and a richer history than most of the other clubs in the U.K- and a super track at Baiter Park Poole. Have a look at their website here
Wanted to highlight the excellent work that is totally grassroots led. Generations of riders that have come up through the ranks since the club started in 1974 are mainly local kids, some of whom progress to going to International race meetings as Arron Morgan did last year, teams from countries from all around the world met in battled it out in Australia! Arron won 2 races yesterday and you can see him in action on the video below. Tuesdays is training night, here you can see up to 40 kids from as young as 4 belting around the track learning bike handling skills and cycle speedway racing. Since I first started supporting the Club in 2009, the dedication of these grassroots coaches and organisers has never waned and this post is a tribute to them. Photo at the top is from a school visit I organised while working for Sustrans, we had a few schools with visionary P.E teachers visit the track, brilliant work that Im proud of.
Yesterdays elite league racing was with Ipswich who were down, unfortunately Poole didnt come top in the points this time, some really fit younger riders with loads of bravery collected the points, but its early days in the season. Visit for some Sunday fun, the track overlooks the bay and Brownsea Island, has refreshments and theres the skate park next door as well. There are some similarities with track racing, at some point to win this race you have to KICK! when you do it is all part of the tactics. The continued success of Cycle Speedway is a testament to grass roots sports, providing opportunities for youngsters to get active, aside of the glitz and glamour of televised competition its something we need more of in the U.K . Chapeau Poole!
This photo shows some colleagues trying the sport too on another visit I made, dont worry I had some sprints too.
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