Author- Allan Smallwood SSA Media
The Derby Speedway Club located some two thousand two hundred kilometres North East of Perth in the Kimberley Region of Western Australia are excited to finally kick off their 2020 season this Saturday Night (27th June).
Big strides have been made in recent times by the Derby Speedway Club who have improved their facilities tremendously along with many of their competitors travelling to compete in major events around Western Australia the last few seasons.
Laura McCarthy the Club Secretary recently caught up for a quick chat to talk about the plans for the coming season for one of Australia’s most Remote Speedway venues.
Smalle- It’s been a tough few months for the world, what impact has COVID-19 had on the 2020 season for the Derby Speedway Club?
Laura- Our race season runs during our “dry season” so COVID-19 has actually had a relatively minimal effect on the season we had planned to date. However the lack of incoming revenue from race meetings has been a significant hindrance on the club’s plans to upgrade some of our facilities such as the canteen and bar areas. Infrastructure upgrades are years in the making for not for profit organisations such as our club. We aim to bring to life the vision of previous committees and reward the hard work of our volunteers by moving forward to improve our grounds as much as we can.
Smalle- Derby was cut off to the rest world for a time, how has that affected the community?
Laura- The arrival of COVID-19 meant the roughly 3,300 residents of Derby were cut off from the rest of the world including our closest neighbouring town of Broome which is 220kms away. For a town that is already rather isolated I think our community felt it the most when sporting activities were axed. We believe that Derby Speedway Club is one of the biggest spectator and participation sports in town so the impact of not being able to hold race meetings was felt by our entire community. I think all sports play an important role in regional communities and as a club we believe being able to continue to provide the opportunity for Motorsport in the Kimberley helps to bring our community together by promoting positive social interaction and a sense of community pride.
Smalle- Tell us about the season that you will have and the work it has taken to get back to racing.
Laura- As a club we are looking forward to commencing racing and getting back on track with some of our big events including the Donny Archer Memorial on the 11th & 12th September and the Yakka Munga Stampede on the 23rd & 24th October. We aim to continue to provide a safe and fun environment for people of all ages of our great town and surrounds, none of which would be possible without the contribution and hard work of our huge volunteer base. We are extremely lucky to have great support from local businesses and we work closely with our neighbouring club in Broome to continue to promote Motorsport in the Kimberley.
Smalle- Competitor numbers in Derby appear to be on the rise, the club appears to be developing well.
Laura- Derby Speedway Club has a growing, mainly Speedway Sedan based membership with a strong focus on Junior Development and Participation. As a club we are extremely proud to present strong car numbers at each race meeting, particularly our SSA Junior Sedan division which consists of about fifteen cars. We have a strong focus on youth participation and promoting an all inclusive environment. With the support of the club members, volunteers and spectators we are hoping to grow and continue learning whilst working together with our neighbouring clubs to grow the sport in the Far North of Western Australia.
We will continue to bring you stories of Speedway Sedans Australia categories returning to racing at venues across the country in the months ahead as the sport plays its part on the road to recovery.