Sheffield Tigers: Jack the lad is ‘living the dream’ at Owlerton

Sheffield Tigers  L-R Lasse Bjerre, Todd Kurtz, Robert Branford, captain Kyle Howarth, Josh Bates, Jack Parkinson-Blackburn and Josh Grajczonek, pictured, during the Press and Play day at Owlerton Stadium. Picture: Marie Caley
Sheffield Tigers L-R Lasse Bjerre, Todd Kurtz, Robert Branford, captain Kyle Howarth, Josh Bates, Jack Parkinson-Blackburn and Josh Grajczonek, pictured, during the Press and Play day at Owlerton Stadium. Picture: Marie Caley
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Talented teenager Jack Parkinson-Blackburn will be living the dream with Sheffield Tigers this year.

Parkinson-Blackburn is a former mascot at Owlerton and has landed a place in the Championship side after only one full season in competitive racing.

He won the National Development League title with Birmingham last season – and will ride for the Brummies again – but Sheffield have handed him his first chance at the higher level.

The West Yorkshire youngster was unveiled as a club asset by Tigers chiefs last summer after fighting off interest from some of the top clubs in the country – Poole and Glasgow were linked with him.

He said: “I’ve been coming to Sheffield for years so I’m really pleased to get the chance to ride in the Championship for them.

“It’s going to be tough, I know that, but all I can do is give it my best. It’s going to be a busy season for me riding for two clubs, but I just can’t wait to get riding.

“I’d love to put a couple of points on my average for Sheffield and show some improvement. There’s no guarantee that will happen but I will do my very best.”

Parkinson-Blackburn is excited by the prospect of riding in front of a packed house at Owlerton when they face Somerset next Thursday.

The meeting is free to all spectators as the club reach out to the region in a bid to win a new wave of fans.

Said Parkinson-Blackburn: “It’s a great way to start the season for us all and it would be great to see the place packed out.

“It will be a big atmosphere for us to ride in and we’re all really looking forward to getting racing in front of our own fans.”

But before then Tigers go to Ipswich tomorrow for their opening Championship fixture.

Promoter Damien Bates said: “It’s a tough start because Ipswich are up there as one of the fancied teams in the league.

“It’s an early start to the season but we’ll go there and try and get a result to bring back up here.

“The ultimate aim is for us to get into those end of season play-offs – but that’s the aim of everyone in the league I guess.

“I like the shape of the team, we’ve got a good balance but it’s not won on paper and we have to go out there and show what we can do on the track. We’re all looking forward to it.”