Location: Wednesfield Cycle Speedway
Event: 30 June 2012
We interview Ian Brown, development officer for the Women's Pairs Day of Racing ahead of the event to take place at Wednesfield on 30th June.
What's the idea behind the competition?
Over the last few years we have seen the development of women's racing, firstly with the introduction of individual competition. This year saw the season start with four top draw individual meetings and I would like to thank those clubs for putting on such great events.
Three years ago we took the next step with the introduction of the regional league which was based on a six rider team format where each region raced each other to qualify for a playoff final and consolation final. This has been well supported despite being run on a Saturday where work commitments prevent some riders from taking part. The downside to the competition is that the pairs racing is restricted to each region’s top six riders and they race for their region not their club.
With this in mind we are going to try a pairs league which will allow clubs to enter teams. It will introduce a competition where every rider, who wants to, can take part in pairs racing and they can also represent their club. This is definitely the next step in the development of women's racing and will hopefully lead to club team racing given time.
Is it a knockout competition?
The long term aim is to create a league involving pairs racing so it’s not going to be run as a knockout competition, even though it is only a one off event this year.
How many riders are in a team?
Each team will consist of two riders with a maximum of three riders to ensure everyone can take part.
Are clubs going to be restricted to the number of teams they can enter?
No, not at all. We want clubs to enter as many teams as possible. Every rider that wants to ride can. We simply ask those clubs to put their riders in ability order - their top two riders in team A, next two in team B and so on. We also ask them to provide a distinct name for each team such already exists in some clubs e.g. Sheffield stars and Sheffield rockets - Leicester lions and Leicester monarchs.
How are you going to deal with the different abilities of rider?
We intend creating at least three leagues - one for elite riders, one for intermediate riders and one for novice riders - probably as division 1 2 & 3. Each league will consist of up to seven teams as we have a five, six and seven team format available to use. Each team will race one another once to determine a winner in each division.
Once all the teams are known, we will allocate each team into their appropriate league. We know many of the riders so should be able to correctly allocate the best league to reflect their ability. Our aim is to provide a level playing field in each league so that the racing is as competitive as possible regardless of rider ability. This will certainly aid growth in women's racing.
Although we are planning three separate leagues, the final decision will be made once all the teams are known as smaller leagues may be more appropriate.
Is there a cost to entering the competition?
Yes each team has to pay £10 entry fee. All of the entry money is to be paid across to the host club to enable them to provide trophies for each league. Entry is to Paul West at British Cycling headquarters, 0161 274 2021. Also entry form on the British Cycling Website.
What about clubs who only have one rider?
We have been speaking to one or two of those and the best solution is for them to go out and find a friend to race with for their club but obviously that is not always possible. So to ensure that they are not prevented from taking part, we ask them to either team up with someone from another club (I understand that Lauren Hookway from Exeter and Rebecca Davies from Newport are planning to join up to form a team) or they can simply enter their name with Paul West and we will allocate them a team for the day. By encouraging them to enter we hope long-term they will find a club partner to team up with.