King's Lynn Stars captain frustrated, but not surprised by speedway league axe
King's Lynn Stars skipper Lewis Kerr finds it “disheartening” that the elite levels of league speedway have been cancelled for 2020.
Kerr gave his reaction when speaking at a race day organised at Lynn’s stadium by Eastbourne Eagles, which is the Dersingham rider’s second club.
The writing was on the wall for the top two tiers of shale sport (Premiership, which the Lynn team belongs to, and Championship) once PM Boris Johnson last week stated that elite sport with crowds won’t return from coronavirus lockdown until October - the month speedway traditionally ends for the year.
The 30-year-old professional was expecting the bad news which came yesterday lunchtime.
He said: “To be honest I was, actually, with everything going on and then Boris’s statement the other day. I pretty much knew that was going to happen.
“Fingers crossed that we can get something on, when we’re allowed to, in October maybe. Something like that would be good.
“I expected it. I’ve digested it for a while now. I didn’t hear it before everyone else, really.”
Although the former motocross racer is lucky he has managed to find work at both his brother’s and sponsor’s companies, as he previously revealed in the Lynn News, some other riders have struggled to find jobs.
He feels sympathy for them: “I do because it is tough, it’s really tough because you put your sponsorship money into your training and your equipment, your diet and it’s tough, then suddenly nothing’s happening.
“It’s disheartening but like I said, you’ve got to get into work and pay the bills.”
The Eagles’ practice run-out was one of the few chances Kerr has had in 2020 to do a few laps of the Adrian Flux Arena track: Lynn’s press and practice day was called off in the early days of the lockdown back in mid-March.
“It’s Eastbourne’s press day, I suppose you can call it,” he added. “A couple of the guys missed it due to work.”
A few days ago Kerr was contemplating a few late-season re-arranged fixtures against the likes of local rivals Peterborough. Now he admits for the first time he is living hand to mouth.
But the former Snettisham resident says all he can do now is: “Keep working, keep fit and see what happens. It is hard to take but you just have to knuckle down and get on with it now.
“To be fair, I’ve been going week by week. There’s a couple of people I can get work through normally to fill a week. Fingers crossed I can carry on doing that until something happens.
“A local derby would have been great for the fans but it’s a tough pill to swallow.”
Considering four figure-plus attendances in bread-and-butter UK speedway league meetings is good-going, he finds it puzzling that the public can do other activities now that some lockdown measures have already been eased.
The Lynn-born Great Britain rider commented: “I do feel that, because of what you can do now, you know you see these hundreds of people on the beach and you think there’s plenty of room to have your distancing and things like that, but it is what it is.”