Speedway unveils plan to nurture cream of British talent

Niels-Kristian Iversen fires out the gate. Picture: Ian Burt

Speedway bosses have unveiled a new plan for the future of the sport - Credit: Ian Burt

British Speedway promoters have revealed a new five-year plan with the focus on the talented crop of British youngsters in both professional leagues.

In addition, a start date of Saturday, May 1 has been set for the 2021 season with the Premiership starting on Monday, May 3.

From this year onwards, every Premiership and Championship club will include one of the ‘rising stars’ in their team with the aim of encouraging progression at a faster rate.

It’s a project which has reached fruition after the impressive performances from the younger generation in recent times.

Every ‘rising star’ will be given grading and Premiership clubs will build their teams up to a combined average of 35.5 for six riders plus a British youngster graded four and below.

Championship clubs can build up to 39 points for six riders plus a youngster graded two stars or below, alternatively 38 points plus a rider with a grade of three stars and below.

The plan is to increase the young British riders in teams to two each in both leagues from 2022 onwards.

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The Premiership will see six clubs for 2021 with a view to welcoming Swindon back in 2022. Each team will race 10 home league meetings and 10 away, plus an individual series is planned with one round at each track.

Plymouth have also expressed an interest in joining the Championship, with discussions ongoing to make it a 12-team league plus a Knockout Cup competition. Additionally, Somerset will be welcomed back for 2022 following their recent withdrawal.

British Speedway Promoters Ltd chairman Rob Godfrey said: “Everyone is excited by the new project to work with the youth and to encourage them over a five-year plan. We want to see riders develop from youth level to league racing and ultimately to the national team.

“With the restrictions in Poland and how many leagues they allow riders to sign up to, we have made this move – but we believe it’s the right thing to do in any circumstances."