New Track for Stoke CSC
Posted: 30th June | Report and Images: Andy Whitehouse
Stoke Whiterock CSC officially opened their new track on Saturday with the Hartshill cycles sponsored individual match.The new track is only a stone's throw away from the previous Smallwood track but the new Etruria Park track is far removed from that, with catering facilities and toilets a two minute walk away, great viewing all around the track and car parking close by. I caught up with Stoke's treasurer and the person who is recognized as the main driver of the project, Avon Allcock, to get the lowdown...
AW: How much did the track cost to set up?
AA: £21,000 - £10,000 was awarded from Sports For All and £11,000 was given by City of Stoke Council, another £2,000 we secured for bikes for the youngsters and a further £2,800 from Grassroots, which is a local funding facility which has helped fund more bikes and amenities for the club.
AW: Talking of youngsters in cycle speedway,the club has had a measure of success in recruiting them since the track has been finished.
AA: We have,we think its a great opportunity to get more involved in the local community and get cycle speedway noticed more in Stoke and we believe the best way to achieve that is to get the local kids involved in the sport.
AW: I believe you have one of your riders involved in the recruitment drive.
AA: Gary Pearce,yes,we've christened him the Pied Piper,he's our head teacher on a Monday night.
AW: What sort of numbers are turning up on your training night?
AA: We have ten who are regular and turn up every week and ten or so others who turn up occasionally- we're really happy with the ten regulars, we have a few great racers coming through.
AW: So British Youth and Junior League for 2011?
AW: When was the last time Stoke had so many kids taking an interest in Cycle Speedway?
AA: It has got to be a good ten years ago.We decided to get the facilities right before we thought about encouraging the youngsters down and its part of the Premier League criteria so things are looking pretty good.
AW: So now everything is on track, so to speak, will you be applying for Premier League for 2011?
AA: Yes, its a must because the riders who wanted to ride for us in 2010 couldn't because they went to ride for other Premier League clubs, but we now have all the facilities in place ready for next season. We are looking at electric tapes at the moment which will be in place for the start of the 2011 season.
To celebrate the Etruria track official opening, the club promoted an individuals match sponsored by local bike shop, Hartshill Cycles who donated a mountain bike for the winner and trophies for the top four riders. Even in friendlies this sport always brings out the best in the riders and a brilliant afternoon's racing was put on by all the riders in the scorching heat. Leicester's Adam Peck, who rode superbly to reach the final, took first place and the brand new mountain bike. Stoke rider Louis Bates took the runner-up spot with Peck's team mate Craig Marchant riding in third. Birmingham's Paul Heard rolled over the line in fourth place after taking a nasty tumble on the concrete kerb on the last lap.