From cradle to champ, Edinburgh Monarchs launch new initiative to nurture local speedway talent

Do you have a speedway champion of the future in the family? Then five time league winners Edinburgh Monarchs want to hear from you.

Tuesday, 6th April 2021, 4:45 pm
11-year-old Stene Pijper leads a juniors race at Armadale Stadium

Now based at Armadale Stadium, West Lothian, the ‘What The Fork’ Monarchs have announced a brand new speedway academy to introduce aspiring young riders into the sport and offer them a pathway to becoming a professional speedway rider.

Monarchs Speedway Academy is the overarching name for a series of youth development initiatives that are set to allow young riders to go from cradle to Scottish champion and beyond as they follow their dreams of a life on the shale. As part of the initiative to find the stars of tomorrow, two youth tracks will be added to the facilities at Armadale Stadium, offering young hopefuls a track of an appropriate size to stimulate their development.

The first of those will be a small inflatable speedway track, which it is hoped will capture the imagination of the very youngest of children on small balance bikes. Aimed at providing a fun environment, the hope is that the experience will hatch dreams of becoming a speedway rider. A second track, a mini speedway track on the stadium’s centre green, will allow kids to step up to 50cc or similar bikes to get a feel for riding a motorcycle.

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The next steps on the development pathway will find youngsters moving up to 125/150cc speedway bikes on the mini track and then onto 250cc bikes on the main track with appropriate competitive action at each level. From there, would be track stars will be able to step up onto full size 500cc bikes with competitive opportunities in the Northern Junior League as part of the West Lothian Wildcats.

Finally, the aim for those who make it this far will be to win a place in the Armadale Devils, Monarchs’ National Development League team, the last level before looking to breakthrough into Edinburgh’s Championship line-up.

Monarchs Co-Promoter John Campbell says, "We are delighted to be taking these first steps into developing the next generation of Scottish speedway riders. The ultimate aim is to have a rider progress from the entry level inflatable track, all the way through to the Monarchs team in due course. New riders can get involved at the level most appropriate to them and progress from there. The beauty of the system is that there will always be a next step for riders to develop. Previously we had no platform to enter the sport at youth level. With the Monarchs Speedway Academy, local kids can get involved and dream of going all the way to Scottish Champion and beyond."

The installation of both new tracks will require initial funding, which the fan fundraising group Monarchs 100 will kick start on Sunday 18 April, at noon, with an online charity auction.

Campbell continues, "Monarchs 100 approached the Club with the idea to host another auction following the success of their first edition last summer. We outlined our new youth development plans to the Monarchs 100 to which Derek Wilkinson and Scott Wilson replied that they would be delighted to host the auction to support the funding required for which the Club is very grateful."

For more details of the auction visit www.edinburghmonarchs.co.uk

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