Speedway chief puts sport ‘on the table’ over restrictions

Speedway, like all sports is on hold - but wants to be in the discussions over a return Picture: Ian

Speedway, like all sports is on hold - but wants to be in the discussions over a return Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Archant

British speedway officials have put the sport forward for discussion at government level regarding how the season can start.

Weekly talks with various sports are set to take place and the government will assess each case individually in terms of how to restart when restrictions are eased.

Rob Godfrey, chairman of the British Speedway Promoters Ltd, made contact with his local MP in Scunthorpe, Helen Mumby-Croft, and all clubs have been asked to do the same. Godfrey has now been told speedway will be considered by government officials taking into account the venues throughout the country and the size of crowds.

“My understanding was that discussions have already taken place with major sports and I felt it appropriate to put speedway up there,” said Godfrey. “I just wanted to get the sport on the table, that’s all, nothing more, nothing less. If ever there was a good time not to be a major sport, it is now. It’s one aspect we are working on, of course, with sponsorship, TV and increased digital output but we are where we are. We are presenting the facts. Many of us can work with social distancing in our stadia, restricted numbers in parts of a venue won’t be a problem and certainly the pits area can be tightened up in terms of numbers and space between personnel, but again this is very broadly speaking. Above and beyond this, we are an outside sport without any confined space.

“We remain absolutely determined and committed to staging a British speedway season in some format, but of course this won’t be next week or the week after. Yes, I know there are issues with international travel but for every problem we can find a solution. If there is time it would be nice to see a gradual reopening with practice sessions, but that all depends if and when we are allowed to do so.

“Whatever happens we are in the hands of the government and we can only start once we are told we can. We have various permutations available to us in terms of the fixture list, even if it means a three month or a two month season. In addition we acknowledge many clubs don’t own their stadium and would need full co-operation from their landlords.”

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