The Wightlink Warriors speedway team have been voted one of speedway’s top 4 community clubs of the year.
The announcement was made at last night’s (Sunday) annual Gala Dinner staged in Leicester and hosted by the World Speedway Riders Association (WRSA).
Being recognised as a top club is the climax of 2-and-a-half years of perspiration and determination by co-promoters Barry Bishop and Martin Widman.
Warriors rank alongside established Premiership and Championship clubs Rye House, Somerset and Glasgow and have impressed speedway bosses with the ‘Warrior Way’ – an ethos that aims to merge the thrill of speedway racing with an inclusivity of activities for all ages and abilities.
The progress achieved since re-launching the Warriors in 2016 has been magnificent and this nomination is fully deserved, recognising as it does the hours of dedication and work invested in the project to date.
Barry and Martin received universal praise from the awards committee who highlighted the very special Christmas luncheon event for lonely Island folk as a shining example of community involvement in action.
A clearly proud and emotional Bishop broke off from the after party congratulations to say:
“Being nominated for the award was somewhat surprising but hugely satisfying and just proves that our beliefs and delivery have been accepted by our peers. We will use this success as a driver to further embed the Warrior Way on the Island and beyond.
“From the start of our tenure Martin and I have worked very hard to encourage and integrate the Island community into what we do and we have had great feedback offering all age groups affordable and fun filled events at the Andrew Younie Smallbrook Stadium. Not only do we present exciting racing and an evening for all the family, we take every opportunity to promote the Isle of Wight as a welcoming and vibrant destination and I am sure this has played a part in our presence here tonight.
“In addition, our fabulous all year round speedway training school ‘My First Skid’ has been unbelievably popular as budding riders of all ages and standards come to the Island from far and wide to ‘live the dream’.
“Our 2018 planning and implementation programme is already paying dividends with new and repeat sponsorship deals being completed almost daily and behind the scenes we are looking at team building permutations to ensure on track success matches our off track achievements. Next April can’t come soon enough.
“Thank you again one and all, this is a very special day for our club and remember that we are only ever one email away from answering your questions (no matter how big or small) or giving you advice. Contact us using [email protected] and we will be in touch to help if at all possible”.