NEWS: Stoke revival gains momentum

The revival of Stoke Cycle Speedway is gaining momentum – that’s the excellent news emerging out of the Potteries just weeks after a Public Meeting was held in Stoke in an attempt to bring the sport back to one of its former hotbeds.

For the past six Wednesdays former stalwarts of the sport from Stoke have met at the Etruria Park track to launch weekly `come and try it` sessions for local youngsters and former riders. The first session attracted 15 people, made-up of newcomers, officials, parents and former Stoke riders.

Numbers for the sessions, organised by Avon Allcock, have remained encouraging but recent sessions have seen increasing numbers and only this week a new group of teenagers appeared to have their first ever free practice, under the guidance of volunteer coach Darren Challinor.

The people behind the venture are delighted that the revival appears to be taking hold. Its just reward for a string of dedicated people who working hard behind the scenes to cement the revival, such as Andy Franks, Simon Munden, Gene Bailey and Rob Machin.

Franks said: “I am increasingly optimistic for the future of Cycle Speedway in my City. Its tremendous to go to the track on Wednesdays and see all the activity, with excited youngsters turning-up, together with committed friends who are working as a group to make all this work”.

The Wednesday night sessions at Stoke continue throughout the summer, from 6.30pm, at Etruria Park. Newcomers can just turn-up, bikes are supplied free of charge.

The Stoke revival comes after Coventry`s Joe McLaughlin called a Public Meeting in the City in May to promote the idea of a revival. He then went to Stoke Speedway with promotional flyers and arranged a string of radio interviews for Avon Allcock to spread the word. The venture has also been supported by Midlands officials Bob Prince and Norman Venson.