Cycle speedway club is back - without the crashes
- Credit: Archant
A cycle speedway club is among the first in the UK to return to the track, but will not be able to race - for the first time in its 54-year history.
The Hethersett Hawks Cycle Speedway Club made a long awaited return on June 30 after lockdown after coming up with a way for riders to be on the track safely.
While it is unable to hold club nights and races, riders now book onto one of the three 45-minute sessions available on Tuesday evenings or Saturday mornings - which have been limited to six riders.
Following the first session, a club spokesman said: “There were a few bewildered faces at first as riders got used to standing on their numbers in three different areas of the track, within their ‘bubble’ - but they all behaved and rode brilliantly.”
The club is still loaning kit which is cleaned thoroughly before its next use.
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Chairman Mel Perkins MBE, who founded the club back in 1966, said members had adopted a can do attitude to be able to keep going, even without its race season.
Mr Perkins said: “When riders are going at it, it is quite exciting. You need to be racing side by side and possibly one takes out another in a crash and you cannot do any of that. We are going through the paces, to some learning some of the basic skills is better.
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“It is about having a can-do attitude.
“We have to get the club going and get people active. It is important to get kids active.”
The club has riders of all ages starting from five taking part, and enter events spanning across Norfolk, East Anglia, South-East as well as national and international events.
During the lockdown period, the Hawks’ track in Memorial Playing Fields has also been well used by the community.
While regional events may be a possibility, Mr Perkins said social distancing between teams would be difficult, but would look at competitions against other Norwich based clubs if allowed.
The club has flood lights which would allow it to extend the summer sport’s season into autumn.
He said: “It’s important we keep it going, it’s a village amenity that is well respected. Over the years we have had 500 people have a go at it. It is a challenge but we have a can do attitude and we can only do what we can and work within the rules.”