Scottish Schools Cycle Speedway League
Posted on: 31st January 2012
Article by: Thomas Lee
On the afternoon of Friday 3rd February 2012 the first session of the new Scottish Schools Cycle Speedway League will take place at Edinburgh’s Jack Kane Centre.
The idea of an inter-schools cycling league was conceived following an invitation by Gavin Kennedy, coach of the Edinburgh Falcons Cycle Speedway Club, to members of Liberton High School’s after school Bike Club to a ‘Come and Try It’ session at the club’s Redbraes Park circuit.
The Liberton Bike Club had run a number of cyclo-cross races in the school grounds and had invited other Edinburgh schools to join them but it became obvious that moving a group of pupils and their bikes around the City was far from easy and few accepted the challenge.
The idea of just turning up with a group of pupils equipped with no more than their bike helmets to a fixed venue where specialist bikes were provided seemed too good to be true but as soon as the riders had been given some basic coaching and were off racing within an hour of arriving it seemed obvious that this was a model that could make inter-schools cycle racing a reality.
At a meeting chaired by Scottish Cycling and hosted by City of Edinburgh Council, representatives from Edinburgh Falcons Cycle Speedway Club, Sustrans I Bike and Bike Club Scotland supported the formation of a Scottish Schools Cycle Speedway League.
Funding to cover the costs of hiring the hall has been provided by Sustrans I Bike, Edinburgh Falcons Cycle Speedway Club and Liberton High School Bike Club. The City of Edinburgh Council Outdoor Education Department has kindly offered to help with bike maintenance and repairs. Funding is, however, still required to help pay for some new specialist bikes. Potential sponsors should contact Gavin Kennedy at Edinburgh Falcons Cycle Speedway Club in the first instance.
About Scottish Schools Cycle Speedway League
Up to six schools from South East Scotland will be competing in an indoor league which will take place on Friday afternoons during February/March. It will then be time to take the riders and their new found skills outdoors to Redbraes Park, Scotland’s only surviving shale Cycle Speedway track, for a Summer term of inter-school races. If this first season proves to be a success it is hoped that similar initiatives can be developed elsewhere in Scotland.
About Cycle Speedway
Cycle Speedway is not very different to track cycling in a velodrome other than the track is shorter and has less of a camber. The riders compete four at a time and each race is just four laps of the track. The specially designed bikes have no gears and no brakes. It is easy to learn the basic skills of Cycle Speedway and a lot of fun right from the start but with a pathway to local club competitions and thereafter to International participation.
For more information contact:
Trevor Bryant, Liberton High School Bike Club
Gavin Kennedy, Edinburgh Falcons Cycle Speedway Club