The prestigious annual speedway awards hosted by the World Speedway Riders Association (WSRA) took place on Saturday evening in Leicester and to the surprise of many in the room, the Wightlink Warriors were named the WSRA Community Club of 2021 – the third successive year that the Warriors have been chosen for the accolade known as the Silver Shoe Award.
Having stepped away from the mainstream bodies controlling the sport last March there was scepticism in the wider speedway community that the Island club would become isolated, struggle or even ignored, however, the 2021 season proved the doubters to be very wrong. A new mix of innovative track sport that provided racing opportunities for all abilities drew record crowds to the homely Smallbrook Stadium and attracted consistently high praise from participants, sponsors and spectators alike.
Indeed, it was the club’s recurring ethos of putting fans first that resonated with the unbiased and impartial WSRA adjudicators who acknowledged and praised the Warriors ongoing community commitment by presenting a special/upgraded ‘Gold Shoe Award’ to club owners Barry Bishop and Martin Widman.
A delighted Barry Bishop was clearly stunned by this latest success as he said:
“Thank you to the selection committee of the WSRA. Martin and myself are on cloud 9 and following our change of direction we never expected another nomination, let alone this success.
“Our focus has always been on improving our unique product, involving the whole family and providing value for money on a great night out. We got it right. Feedback tells us as much and this award adds further backing that we were right to do things in a new way, but it has taken a whole team effort to make race night work for everyone and this success should be dedicated to all those who play a part, however small, in our events.
“Together we are everything and Martin and myself are truly grateful to all those people who give full commitment to the Warriors and make our club so great”.
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