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Speedway fans urged to ensure Oaktree Arena keeps its race nights
7:00am Friday 13th September 2013 in News
A STARK warning has gone out that speedway race nights at Highbridge’s Oaktree Arena – which bring Sky Sports cameras and thousands of visitors to the area – could be at risk unless a vital piece of safety kit can be secured.
The Somerset Rebels, based at the Oaktree, are frantically trying to raise the £30,000 needed to buy an air fence – a barrier which goes around the track to protect riders in the event of a crash – and which is a must for the 2014 season under new British Speedway Association rules.
The Rebels have already raised £6,000 and have a host of fundraising events lined up – but they need your support.
Promoter Debbie Hancock said: “I can assure fans that this issue will not go away and that there will be no ‘U-Turn’ by the speedway authorities over this, so we cannot bury our heads in the sand thinking that everything will be ok come the start of next season.
“As a promotion we are trying all we can to secure outside sponsorship to help towards the amount required on top of which we have tried to put on a number of fund-raising events, but these events have been poorly attended and have not raised the funds we had hoped for.
“We have a few new fund-raising activities that will be coming up over the next few months, and they really do need your support if we are going to be able to purchase an air fence in order that speedway can continue here next year.”
One such event is a golf day at Brean Golf Club on September 27, where teams of four can play a round, and then head to the Oaktree for food, and the presentation of prizes.
The club’s head professional Andrew March, who is helping to organise the golf day, urged speedway lovers to back the fundraising drive.
He said: “I’ve been a speedway fan for 30 years – longer than I’ve been playing golf.
“The Oaktree is one of the best tracks in the country and there’s always a good, healthy crowd.
“The Sky Sports cameras have been coming for several years – there’s nothing else in the area that gets that sort of coverage and brings people into the area like speedway.
“We must all try to do our best to keep them racing.”
o FOR more details on the golf day call Andrew March on 07957-972614 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Oaktree will also be staging a darts night in November, attended by stars Justin Pipe and Garry Anderson, and it is organising a raffle for a BMX bike, worth £370, donated by Philip Inglis, who runs Bikestyle in Clevedon.
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