'WIGHTLINK' WARRIORS & WIZARDS
WARRIORS SHALE TRACK RACING CLUB
HOME OF THE
2020 was a non-starter for the 'Wightlink' Warriors and Wizards on our track due to government restrictions for the use of stadiums preventing the publics attendance, which culminated in the sport’s governing body, the BSPL/SCB, abandoning any form of league racing. But, that wasn't the end of our 2020 story………
The Warriors did take to the track at Plymouth, racing in 3 Team Tournament involving Plymouth, Eastbourne and the Isle of Wight. The Warriors management team worked extremely closely with Plymouth to ensure that fans were safe in a Covid secure environment before the meeting which proved to be a huge success. This kind of meeting involves 4 riders representing each team and our quartet of Ben Morley, Tom Woolley, Connor Coles and Chad Wirtzfeld did a superb job, missing out by just a single point for the top spot on the night. It was a great meeting in front of 400 spectators and streamed live to a wider audience. While this wasn’t on the Island, we rightly felt proud that we helped enable this meeting to happen.
We managed to arrange a super opportunity for the Warriors logo to appear on stage at the BDO Darts tournament. This raised huge interest in the club along with speedway fan and professional dart player Scott Mitchel ensuring our logo was not only on Eurosport, but also around the world on his social media platforms.
The Warriors provided 3 days of intense on and off track training with Neil Vatcher for the GB Young Lions. The camp offered the cream of Britain’s young riders the chance to develop their on track knowledge with expert rider Steve Worrall as well as media, nutrition, and fitness classes.
With the relaxation of rules allow training and amateur sports events without spectators, we reintroduced My First Skid. This proved to be a great success allowing us to ensure that our track equipment remained functional and our island-based riders had more time to further develop their skills.
We started streaming our historic home meetings for free to fans through Speedway Portal to ensure we kept them engaged with the Warriors and the sport in general. Watching the re-runs we analysed how we could improve our race days whilst affording our sponsors more airtime. Our re-runs were so popular that it encouraged British Speedway's governing body and other clubs to do the same. We also showed spectacular individual races from across our seasons to keep the Warriors in the minds of fans across the nation and beyond.
From the start of the 1st lockdown our track announcer Rob Dyer produced a weekly quiz for fans to participate in which proved extremely popular and indeed encouraged our own governing body and other clubs to produce their own.
We also came up with a speedway first, 'Virtual Skid', real meetings using real historic footage. We used our algorithm to take 4 meetings, (60 races) and jumble them all up to give 15 race choices of A, B, C or D. We invited two team managers selected from ex-riders, referees, sponsors and super fans to try and guide their team to victory by selecting each race. We produced 15 meetings in total, which are all available to stream on YouTube, including one which raised over £1000 for the Speedway Riders Benevolent fund.
The club raised well over £1000 for charity from the sale of Warrior branded face masks via two methods. Firstly, key workers could request one for free whilst anyone who was not a key worker was asked to give a donation, with all profits given to charity. We gave £605 to Captain Tom, £261 to the Mountbatten Hospice (IOW) and £250 to the 'Speedway Riders Benevolent Fund' for injured Speedway Riders.
During the year, when able, volunteers gave their time and effort to ensure the Smallbrook Stadium was on point, ready to go and ready to serve the community in any way it could. We refurbished rooms, improved areas and much more.
Our drive and enthusiasm was as strong as ever as we looked to continue to provide the best racing night out in the UK.