Driving force: Buster Chapman revved up to make a big difference as head of the BSPA
- Credit: Ian Burt
Keith 'Buster' Chapman insists his actions will speak louder than words as he attempts to get British speedway back on track.
The hugely successful Norfolk promoter and track curator was appointed as the new chairman of the British Speedway Promoters' Association (BSPA) on Tuesday night. Now he's at the helm of the governing body, the owner of Elite League King's Lynn Stars is keen to make sure he does not oversee the sport's latest false dawn.
Chapman, commonly known by his nickname Buster, said: 'We are realistic and realise that nothing is going to change overnight and that it will take a bit of time. We've got a five-year plan and I'm confident we can get to where we want to be within that time scale. It's ok saying the right things and doing plenty of talking, but it's now down to me and the rest of the team to knuckle down, get things moving and make sure things happen.
'It will be a bit more difficult in this my first season because the way the format of the conferences went, I didn't actually get into the chair until a few hours before the final AGM. So there's a few things that came out this year that I would have done differently but I suppose it gives me a full season to keep my eye on all things good or bad and start putting things in motion to move the sport forward from 2017.'
During his 23 years in charge at Saddlebow Road, Chapman – who joined the BSPA's management committee in 2014 – has helped turn the Stars, and their Adrian Flux Arena home, into a global force. However, Chapman's success at Lynn is in stark contrast to a host of problems sweeping the sport across the UK.
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A host of clubs are struggling financially while a lack of young British riders continues to be a cause for concern.
'There's going to be a lot to take in over the course of next year but I'm really looking forward to the challenge and it's absolutely going to be one big group effort,' added the new head of the BSPA, who replaced outgoing chief Alex Harkess.
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'One thing I can guarantee everyone is that I won't be shy with any of my suggestions.'