Just 10 days after Barry Bishop and Martin Widman were presented with a Local Heroes accolade for reviving and developing speedway on the Isle of Wight, the ‘Wightlink’ Warriors have now been named as speedway’s Community Club of the Year by the World Speedway Riders Association (WSRA) at their gala ceremony in Leicester last night.
After the Warriors took runners-up spot in this category last year, the very welcome nomination for a second consecutive year, this time alongside the Kent and Berwick clubs, was seen by many as success in its own right, however the well respected WSRA awards committee were so impressed by the way in which the Island side had built on past achievements to become recognised and established as one of the key community hubs for both old and young alike that there could only be one winner of the aptly sculpted ‘Steel Shoe’ trophy.
Having stepped forward with his co-promoter to receive the award from out-going WSRA president and former England speedway captain Kelvin Tatum MBE, it was an appreciative Barry Bishop who said: “Martin and I are extremely proud to win this award as WSRA Community Club of the Year. We have put the community at the heart of our club and so this is another proud moment for everyone associated with the Warriors, be it volunteers, fans, riders or sponsors. They make us what we are and while Martin and I may have the privilege of being here to accept the award, it has only happened because of the efforts of so many who embraced and believed in our ‘Warrior Way’ ethos – they strive to help us be the very best we can. I am massively proud that another award has come the way of our club tonight – a club which very, very few thought was viable let alone an award winner. It’s brilliant way to round off the season and we are extremely honoured to have won.”