South Shields to host first Cycle Speedway racing event in 50 years

Cycle Speedway racing is set to make its return to South Shields after approximately 50 years.

By Sarah Sinclair
Wednesday, 10th July 2019, 2:39 pm
Updated Wednesday, 10th July 2019, 8:36 pm
Tyneside Outdoor's Gerard New
Tyneside Outdoor's Gerard New

Temple Memorial Park will host its first Cycle Speedway racing event, since the 60s, on Saturday, July 13.

The dirt track race is being held as part of Tyneside Outdoors’ BMX Heritage Project, which is aiming to get people involved in cycling.

Funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the project has delivered bike maintenance training to young people, who have helped in the revival of a number of BMXs and other children’s bikes, donated by Recyke-y-Bike in Newcastle.

Youngsters on the old BMX bike track at Temple Park

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    The bikes will be given away in a free prize draw, at the Big (BMX) Bike Revival Event on Saturday, in order to help more young people enjoy cycling in their local park this summer.

    The company has also contacted local schools to help get the free bikes to those children who don’t own one.

    “We’ve been working with Recyke-y-Bike in Newcastle to train some of the young people involved in our BMX Heritage Project to carry out bike repairs,” said Gerard New, youth and community worker with Tyneside Outdoors.

    “They’ve carried out some major repairs on their own bikes, meaning that they can keep active and continue to enjoy cycling. We’d like our Big (BMX) Bike Revival events to help other young people to get active and enjoy a great growing up on their bikes”

    In addition to the BMX give-away, young people will be able to try their skills on a mobile Bike Skills Course at the event, and bike mechanics will be providing free bike repairs.

    The Cycle Speedway course will be set up and run by Northumbria Vikings Cycle Speedway Club.

    Marc Barkman-Astles, Archaeologist, with Archaeosoup Productions, working with TO on the BMX Heritage Project, said: “We’ve tried looking for the original Cycle Speedway track from maps and old Gazette photographs from the 1960’s and weren’t able to find it. However, what was great was to be able to find someone who used to race on the track and to interview him as part of our research.”

    Tyneside Outdoors was awarded funds from Cycling UK and the Community Foundation for Tyne and Wear and Northumberland to host the events.