LETTERS: Northumbria Cycle Speedway – an inspiration for our sport

A letter from Joe McLaughlin of Coventry, after his recent trip to Northumbria Cycle Speedway, where he competed in the Eurovets series.

I would like to use the columns of 33/18 News to give some thoughts and congratulations to the simply magnificent achievements of Northumbria Cycle Speedway club in establishing the sport once again in the north east.

A year ago, the Eurovets series ventured up to the then temporary track at Cramlington Sports Village. I made the journey by train with several others, changing at Newcastle Central for the final leg of the trip.

We were met with the most basic of temporary facilities. There was a track of sorts, with the most slippery of surfaces that I have ever raced on, no fence and no pits area. What we did get was a lovely welcome and bags of infectious enthusiasm from the many locals who had led the revival, including their plans for the future.

Fast forward a year and the Eurovets GP series returned to the Cramlington venue for a round of the 2014 series, just a couple of weeks ago. It was truly amazing the transformation in just 12 months. What greeted us should act as inspiration for our sport in what can be achieved with vision, team work, imagination and simply hard work.

The whole track and surrounds were marvellous. The track itself, neat and tidy, offered tremendous grip and provided excellent racing. A substantial safety fence had been erected and made the whole facility look professional. To finish things off, the centre green, tarmaced pits and pleasant landscaping completed what must have been an exhaustive project.

The only thing that remained the same was the sincere and joyous welcome by the host club, who appeared clearly delighted many of us had made the long trip to sample their new home. I sometimes struggle to understand the Geordie dialect. But there was no need for me and others to fully grasp every word. The welcome and convivial greeting said it all. Thank you for that.

I salute Terry, Gavin, Jim, Richard, Jason, Mike, Rob and all the other guys at Northumbria for their outstanding efforts. You should be very proud. May your club prosper for years to come.

Joe McLaughlin
Coventry CSC

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