Bandits to race on into 2019
Berwick Speedway is set to race on into 2019 after it was confirmed this week that steps had been taken to ensure the Bandits stay on track.
Only a fortnight ago it was revealed the club had been put up for sale by current owners, brothers Scott and Jamie Courtney, who are co-promoters in the business.
Last week the British Speedway Promoters’ Association met for their annual general meeting when clubs had to give their declaration of intent to run next season.
Berwick were listed as one of the clubs set to go to the tapes, giving supporters some hope that the club, after more than 50 years of racing, was set to continue.
On Monday a statement was issued by the club which stated: “Berwick Bandits Speedway Club co-owner Jamie Courtney has made commitments to ensure the Bandits will take to the track once again in 2019!
“Following news a couple of weeks ago that he and his brother Scott had put the Bandits up for sale, Jamie’s commitment to the cause has come as welcome relief to the supporters who have gone through a worrying fortnight.
“A Fans Forum event is scheduled for 5pm on Sunday December 9 at the Black and Gold, Shielfield Park where Jamie will be updating everyone on how 2019 will appear following news from the recent BSPA AGM which has set the parameters for running the 2019 Championship season.
“It must be emphasised that there has never been a more important time to stand by YOUR club and show YOUR support.
“Any initiatives to generate sponsorship and raise funds for the club in 2019 will be welcomed at the fans forum event.”
At last week’s BSPA AGM, Berwick were one of ten clubs named as 2019 starters in the Championship.
They include Edinburgh, Glasgow, Newcastle, Workington, Redcar, Sheffield and Scunthorpe, who also raced in the Championship in 2018.
They will be joined by Leicester and Somerset, who are both stepping down from the Premiership, with Peterborough and Ipswich moving in the opposite direction.
Two clubs from last season’s National League - the third tier of British Speedway - will also be joining the Championship.
Teams will consist of seven riders, but next season the combined starting averages will be cut from 42.5 to 38 points, which will make lower averaged riders in more demand. Teams will race each other once home and away.
As in previous years there will also be a Knockout Cup competition and a Shield event comprising of three groups of four teams.