King's Lynn Stars management give thumbs-up to British Speedway plan
King’s Lynn Stars owner Keith Chapman has given a thumbs-up to the speedway authorities’ efforts in boosting young homegrown riders.
The club boss has reacted positively to news that British Speedway promoters have launched a five-year plan with the focus on youngsters in both professional English leagues.
From the 2021 season, every Premiership and Championship team will include a ‘rising star’ with the aim of encouraging quicker progression.
Minors & Brady Stars club boss Chapman, nicknamed Buster, commented: “It’s the best thing that’s ever happened for us.
“They’ve now got a good plan and it’s something to aim for, in my opinion.”
He agreed the new structure was made for the likes of Lynn teenage asset Elliot Kelly who in August placed third in a British Youth Championship round at the Adrian Flux Arena.
That was the sole speedway meeting to be held at the Saddlebow Road stadium during 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Of course, you need to ride with better riders all the time,” he said.
“There’s nothing better than following someone in front of you and learning from that.
“There is more in one meeting than you can learn from than you can in 20 to 30 practice laps. It’s just a different way of riding.
“In England there are some great riders, fantastic riders coming through and without giving them an opportunity it would be a shame.”
He said the new plan would ideally give stability and a structure for progression:
“It should sort them out and give them stability and also to their parents it will give them stability. It will give riders the opportunity.”
The former British Speedway Promoters’ Association (BSPA) chair revealed he would have loved to have introduced this sort of set-up during his tenure.
Chapman enthused: “This approach is the best thing I’ve seen that I can remember in my time.
“It’s got good backing and everyone wants it to happen.
“We need British riders more than ever to come through and it brings them to the forefront. It’s something which I’ve lobbied for.
“With the Polish situation (where riders who pen a deal with a Polish club are forbidden to sign for more than one other foreign league) and the Covid situation, it’s a perfect opportunity for young British riders.”
The Stars have also traditionally been backers of youth since their Young Stars National League days.
Current riders on their roster, skipper Lewis Kerr and Robert Lambert (absent in 2021 due to the Polish rules), are both Norfolk-born.
King’s Lynn co-promoter Dale Allitt also hailed the new plans.
And he’s also revealed how he should be in a position, alongside boss Peter Schroeck, to start announcing signings soon.
The Minors and Brady Stars will compete in the six-team Premiership with 10 home meetings, 10 away plus play-offs.
Allitt is also excited by the new individual competition featuring Premiership riders with a round at every top flight track.
Fixtures are currently being drawn up with the Premiership starting on Monday May 3.
Allitt said: “This is the dawn of a new era for the sport in the UK and credit to the promoters for grasping the opportunity.
“The Polish rule which has prevented some riders from racing in the UK has changed the landscape and it’s taken discussions, often into the night, to reach this stage.
“The support and positivity from Eurosport is a major plus for the sport and it’s my belief we have the most talented group of youngsters throughout the country for many years.
“Hopefully we will be in a position to start announcing riders for the King’s Lynn team very soon.”