CLUB CONFERENCE: Status quo remains for now
Whilst the 2014 club conference failed to make a concrete decision regarding the future of the sport, the general feeling from those present was that a new way forward was required. Indeed a show of hands indicated that over two thirds thought that the future of Cycle Speedway could best be achieved by a greater degree of self governance.
Some clubs were vociferous in their defence of British Cycling and felt that they had benefited considerably from membership in stark contrast to those who felt that the lack of ability to more fully govern our own sport was, quite literally, too high a price to pay.
Some of the benefits of BC membership were widely recognised with coaching, safeguarding and Club Mark specifically highlighted. However it was felt that the increasing costs imposed on riders and clubs for competitions was a major problem, only to be made much worse in 2016 if the KPI requirement of a full licence remains on the table.
It was pointed out that entries for British Championship events are already low and with the prospect of senior riders paying a total of £98 to enter their British Championship event in 2016 the downward trend will only continue.
The efforts of Cycle Speedway Commission members were fully appreciated and no blame was levelled at them regarding recent decisions taken by BC over which they had no control.
The conference invited Fred Rothwell describe his experience with the Eurovets competition operating in 2014 under the TLI banner. The series ran smoothly and TLI supplied shirts and medals free of charge as a goodwill gesture. Overall he felt that working with TLI had been a pleasure and that TLI had been keen to work alongside him to promote the event.
The Midland League are looking join the Eurovets competition and operate under the TLI banner in 2015 giving the sport the opportunity to further assess its options for the future. Meanwhile much else remains the same leaving the Commission to seek new ways to re-invigorate the sport and prevent a further decline.