Trophies, dancing, refreshments and celebration were the vital ingredients for the Poole Cycle Speedway Club end of season presentation night at the appropriately named Champs Bar where around 150 riders, families and friends gathered at the Poole Stadium venue.
With racing successes right across the full competitive age range topped off by the prestigious British Team and Club Championships, spirits were high as the presentations unfolded starting with trophies for the youth and junior squad for the successful defence of their Regional BYJL title. The progression of these riders from rookie Tuesday club night recruits to successful BYJL racers in recent seasons has been truly heartwarming.
There were eight trophies for the coveted club awards and once again the selection panel had a hard job with so many contenders to choose from. Most promising newcomer was Callum Albin who at just 13 looks set to follow in the wheel tracks of Matt Mildon and Arron Morgan. Wil Bristowe was busy helping the Poole under 19 team retain their British Indoor title at Manchester so couldn't be on hand to receive his trophy for most improved rider of the year. Kristina Mines was a popular winner of the lady rider award as she continues to set the pace in the rapidly improving Poole girls squad.
The three age category awards were won by Jasmine Oddie (under 8's), Callum Smith (under 12's) and British champion Arron Morgan (under 16's). There were a number of serious contenders for the senior rider award and the verdict favoured Luke Armes who had his best ever season in the sport. Finally there probably could not be a more deserved winner of the clubman award than ‘Mr Dependable’ Pete Ross who epitomises everything that is good about the club.
Amongst the evening's guests were a number of former riders who gathered to help celebrate the latest British Team Championship success - a record breaking 13th win which a number of them including former world champion Martin Hepworth had contributed significantly to back in the 1980's and 90's.
The top priority at the first winter work session at Harbourside Park was to lift out the starting gates for the very last time. Dating back to 1974 when the previous Poole track was built at Fleetsbridge, they have operated faultlessly over 36 seasons and updated only with the addition of electric solenoids in the late 1980's. A brand new set to a similar design is being supplied courtesy of T & G Fabrications.
Plans are also at an advanced stage with T & G for a new structure to cover the entire pits area which could be in place for the start of the 2012 season. Also in the close-season plans will be upgraded changing rooms and refurbishment to the pits building exterior. Club treasurer Adrian Hearn reported a healthy balance sheet to the recent Poole AGM enabling all current projects to be self funded.