Three community co-ordinators have been appointed by Eastbourne Speedway.
They will be the public faces on race days of the community project team, sponsored by HG Aerospace.
They are Paul Garnell, who will oversee the project, Kate Patterson and David Rollison.
Their task is to build the club’s supporter base.
Paul Garnell, whose father Tom is a former announcer at Eastbourne Speedway is known to many ex-riders and officials. He is a passionate Eastbourne Fineprint Eagles fan and attends matches with his son Max and wife Nicky on a regular basis.
He is also heavily involved in the local junior soccer scene with Eastbourne-based Sovereign Saints FC, and has had a number of roles with other local sporting clubs in organising, marketing and community-based roles
Kate Patterson first attended speedway at Wimbledon’s Plough Lane stadium with her father and grand-father.
She began watching and supporting the Eagles about four years ago. She is a teacher by profession, her main subject is maths.
Kate also has an interest and experience in the organisation of group visits, working with children and young adults with special needs and an awareness of health and safety requirements.
Kate also assists at dance schools that also believe in an inclusive approach to all members of the local community where she lives.
An integral part of the Community Programme Group Stadium Tour and Introduction to Speedway will be a visit to the pits area before racing to meet riders and officials, and to see at close hand what a speedway bike looks like and how it works.
We are delighted therefore to welcome David Rollison to the Community Project Team.
David has experience as a rider, initially on the Eagles’ junior track from its very early days and then on the local grass track scene.
Latterly, he has acted as a mechanic and builder of speedway and grass track bikes, and designer of race-suits and bike-covers.
In addition to becoming a member of the Community Team, David will join the Track Staff Team for the 2019 season.
David has a young family and is keen to pass on his knowledge of the technical side of the sport to similarly aged youngsters and newcomers attending speedway for the first time.
The Community Project Tour will also run group and individual tours on match days, before racing, for anyone interested in seeing a bit more of the sport from behind the scenes.
“It is also very important to support and encourage our very valued existing supporter base, and if any regular fans want a stadium tour, and maybe experience part of the show, that they may not have seen before, they will be more than welcome to join us”
Business and Commercial Director Ian Jordan explained:
“During the last few months of the 2018 season we invited and trialled a programme to encourage new and returning children and parents to come and experience speedway racing at Arlington Stadium.
“The feedback was excellent and we learned a lot in those few short weeks, and have planned to create something more formal and professional for 2019.
“The appointment of three exceptionally passionate and talented Fineprint Eagles supporters have the ideal and complimentary skills and experience for what we are trying to create.
“It is both exciting and we hope the start of something very special.
“A massive thank you must go to Michael and George Gray at HG Aerospace for their invaluable support of the Community Project.”
Ian said the aim was to:
- Encourage supporters of the future;
- Encourage returning fans;
- Build bridges and partnerships with schools, colleges, sports teams, Scout and Guide Groups and commercial business and organisations across the local area.
Ian continued: “We genuinely believe that there is no better product to sell and market than speedway racing, and once newcomers have seen and experienced the thrill of the sort, we can attract them back and encourage them to become longer-term supporters.
“It is also very important to support and encourage our very valued existing supporter base, and if any regular fans want a stadium tour, and maybe experience parts of the show, that they may not have seen before, they will be more than welcome to join us.
“There is a perception that one of the issues affecting UK Speedway is the ‘age dynamic’; the need for the sport to attract and encourage more younger supporters, and we aim to do this within The Community Programme, whilst also making Arlington inclusive for everyone, young and old, new and existing supporters and creating a friendly and family orientated environment.
“Our medium and long-term planning requires the need to both retain and build on our existing supporter base; and this is one of a number of planned initiatives, that will hopefully get us off to a flying start in 2019.”
To learn more about The Eagles Community Programme click here.
Click here to learn more about our Community Partners HG Aerospace