NEWS: Midland League back with British Cycling

The Midland regional Cycle Speedway league held its Annual General Meeting on Sunday 22 November 2015. The meeting was well attended by representatives of the Leagues member clubs and saw the decision to return to racing under the governance British Cycling, rather than TLI.

The meeting was informed of the decision by Brian Buck to step down from the positions of league secretary and league recorder. The membership paid tribute to Brian for his years of hard work and dedication to the sport and the region in particular.

Norman Venson did not seek re-election as chairman and Bob Prince was duly elected into this role.

Rob Barnett offered his services in the position of general secretary and he was duly elected unopposed to that position.

The meeting complimented Steve Mullinder (treasurer) on the healthy state of the league finances. Steve was unanimously re-elected to the position of treasurer. The meeting heard that some of these monies could be made available to coaches within the region to complete their level two qualifications as well as funding first aid and other Go-Ride related requirements.

Mark Winwood will continue in the role of fixtures secretary and Lee Marsh has taken on the role of league recorder. Each has a multitude of experience to offer.

The committee was delighted to welcome Paul Bodley on board as Regional Development Officer. Paul has a wealth of experience in securing grant aid from various agencies and has quite kindly offered to assist the regions clubs in attaining much needed grants to fund various initiatives.

Following the election of the committee for 2016 a discussion took place regarding governance of the league for the forthcoming season. During 2015 the league opted to come under the governance of The League International (TLI).

The reasons behind the decision to opt out of British Cycling, was mainly financial. The amounts of paperwork involved in running cycle speedway matches, was roughly the same under both organisations. Under TLI the league managed its own disciplinary matters, which worked quite well.


The Midland League are back under British Cycling’s governance.

The debate concerning governance touched on many points which included Go-Ride, coaching, marketing and insurance.

The region decided, on a split vote, to organise it’s racing during 2016, under the governance of British Cycling. The one thing that has been learned during the year with TLI, is that it is possible to run the sport from outside the jurisdiction of a National Governing Body, if the will is there.

For the forthcoming season the league will operate a three tier structure with a division three operating before the traditional division one match. The division two matches will follow the div one match. The running of these events will be much slicker next season with each match following immediately after the previous match is finished. This will ensure that spectators and riders alike will enjoy a couple of action packed hours of racing with no long delays between matches.

The M6 Trophy, which is a BYJL type competition including all age and gender categories, will operate on Sundays in 2016. This is a rock up and ride competition with rounds staged at all mainstream tracks within the region. Points are accumulated throughout the competition with the winners being the top point scorer overall in each category.

The Wednesfield club will be once again entering two teams in the league, The Aces and The Dragons. The decision to enter two teams into the league, being well received by the meeting.

There was a further long discussion concerning the lack of qualified coaches within the region, and the sport in general.

At this moment in time there are only seven fully qualified discipline specific coaches within the sport. The meeting was surprised to hear that out of sixty four coaches on the current BC list, there are fifty seven who have no first aid qualification, no CRB clearance or no child welfare certification. The meeting agreed that this is an issue the region and the sport need to address ASAP.

The Stoke club was also discussed with the overall approval to stage a regional British Youth and Junior League round at the Etruria based club next season. Bob Prince and Joe Mclaughlin have been instrumental in trying to encourage the Stoke club, through the efforts of Avon Alcock, to keep the sport active in the Potteries. The first class facilities at the club are quite capable of staging top tier cycle speedway and the region is fully behind any initiative to secure this.

The Brandon club will continue to operate in age category competitions, under the wing of the Coventry club.

The region received many plaudits on the staging of the 2015 World Championships. The Midlands professional approach to these events ensured a memorable time for spectators and competitors alike.

In 2016 the Midlands will be hosting the British Club Championships, which will run over one weekend, similar to the current British Individual competitions. The region is proud to be staging theses events on behalf of British Cycling and is confident that the member clubs will once again do themselves and the sport proud.