Sheffield Tigers: Damien Bates hails British talent ahead of Development League Pairs

Sheffield Tigers co-promoter Damien Bates believes there’s an exciting amount of talent coming through the British Speedway ranks.

Friday, 23rd August 2019, 12:36 pm
Updated Friday, 23rd August 2019, 21:01 pm
Damien Bates

The Tigers’ Chief has been speaking ahead of Sunday’s National Development League Pairs tournament at Owlerton (5.30) as it returns to the sport’s calendar.

Sheffield’s own Drew Kemp is included as part of the line-up for third tier side Kent and Bates hopes the stars of the future get the turnout they deserve.

“This is a big meeting for the riders involved and it’s almost impossible to pick a winner when you look at the line-up,” Bates said.

“There is a lot of doom and gloom and negativity that often overshadows all the good things in British Speedway – and the reality is we’ve still got a brilliant sport that we should be very proud of.

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“Obviously Tai Woffinden, a three-times World Champion, and Robert Lambert, who has been in the Grands Prix this year, have led the resurgence of British riders mixing it on the world stage again.

“But when you look at the National League now and the kids coming through there, the future is looking pretty bright.

“We’ve had Drew at Sheffield this year and while he’s found it pretty tough overall, the experience will make him a better rider in the long run and I think he proved that by winning the British Under-19 Final the other week.

“So I’m hopeful for the future with some of the potential and talent we’ve got working their way up the ladder and I hope the Pairs at Sheffield gets the turnout it deserves because I think it’s going to be a cracking meeting.”

It’s the first of two major events in the space of a week at Owlerton with the Championship Riders’ Individual again heading to the Steel City next Sunday (September 1, 5pm).

And Bates says that shows how respected Sheffield’s set-up is within the sport.

“When we were asked to host these two we were delighted and we’re very proud,” Bates said.

“We’re very fortunate to have such a brilliant racetrack at Sheffield with brilliant facilities at the stadium and we always put on a good show for the supporters.

“We’re really looking forward to these next two Sundays and we’re anticipating fans from up and down the country to be in attendance.”