Keeping Things Positive
2020 has been a year to forget for everyone. The lows of lockdown, the fear of contracting a deadly virus and the loss of luxuries that we had become so accustomed to has been unbearable for the majority of the nation.
Sport in general has taken a massive hit and one main thing we've learned is that any sport, no matter what level, is nothing without fans. Yes, it's provided us with some relief but in the main it's been a tough watch.
Since the announcement that there would be no league racing in the UK this year, we have seen glimpses of what the landscape may look like up and down the country when we resume racing. Huge congratulations has to go to the organisers of the Youth Championships who have ran safe meetings adhering to government guidelines. A fantastic job by everyone involved and going by the races we have seen from the official outlets there has been some competitive action on the track also.
Polish, and now Swedish racing has given some fans a fix for the time being. The ability to watch the big names plying their trade on a week to week basis again has been a relief in a dark time in the world but we can all agree that watching on TV can never replace the thrill of live racing.
For those who have attended the meetings in the UK this season I will admit I'm extremely jealous! The smell, noise and experience of going to a track at any level can never be replaced and I'm sure I speak for the majority of fans when I say that I'm missing Speedway dearly. The break has reaffirmed my love for the sport and I can't wait to get back a track to watch some live action.
Despite the negative of no league action this year it has been extremely positive to see that we will still have some action in the shape of the British Final at Ipswich and the Under-21 Final at Berwick. I'm in a fortune position where I speak to a lot of people within the sport and I know just how much work went on behind the scenes to make these events happen, and I can't wait for that Under-21 meeting, most likely the only live Speedway I'll witness in 2020.
On the international front we have seen youngsters represent British Speedway with distinction. Young men who have made the commitment to racing on the continent, despite the uncertainty around Europe and that commitment has to be applauded as we make strides to becoming a force again on the world stage.
In October we can look forward to the rearranged Speedway of Nations, and I may be getting carried away but I'm predicting gold for Team GB! Something from this horrendous period in all our lives has to give us hope and I'm confident the rejuvenated Team GB squad can provide that glimmer of positivity as we bring the 2020 'season' to an end.
The work that is being done at the moment by the Team GB setup is quite incredible. For so long the national team has lived under a cloud of negativity and archaic thinking. Now we have something to get excited about and the professionalism has set the standard of what the sport in this country can achieve in terms of marketing and promotion.
2020 may be a year to forget but with the resumption of the Youth Championships, young British riders representing us on the continent at European and World Championship levels, and the continued work that the Team GB have been putting in place, we have been putting the groundwork in for a brighter future..... and that's not even mentioning Tai's positive start in the Grand Prix series, Team GB Under-21's bronze medal in the world final and Robert Lambert being crowned European Champion!
We can get bogged down with negatives when it comes to speedway in this country, but the truth is it can be easy to always look at the glass as half empty. Embrace the positives we have in British Speedway, they aren't that hard to see!
Available on Monday, September 7th we catch up with former Wolverhampton, Peterborough, Scunthorpe and Berwick rider David Howe in the latest in our 'My Life in Speedway' series. Check out all good podcast providers to listen and subscribe!