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Kids Come to the Ben Fund Bonanza
Wednesday 1st February 2017
by Mike Hunter
Neil Vatcher will be bringing his young riders north to take part in the 2017 Ben Fund Bonanza at Glasgow on 12th March.
The National youth boss says "I spoke to Paul prior to the announcement that the meeting was at Glasgow, and at first we were taking about four riders coming because it was such a long way. I spoke to the mums and dads and there were more boys keen to come than I had anticipated. So I asked Paul for an extra race which he kindly agreed to.

"So we have eight riders and we will give two groups of guys two races each. It will be their opening event of the season and my boys are really looking forward to it."

The eight young riders will be (250cc) Leon Flint, Joe Thompson, Ryan Morris, Dan Thompson, (125cc) Corban Pavitt, Sam McGurk, Harry McGurk, Luke Harrison.

Vatcher added "It's all about track time and getting the kids on different tracks. We went to Glasgow last year for the first time for the British Youth Championship, and everyone that went could not speak highly enough of the place. We will be going back again later in the season which will be another occasion we will look forward to.

"Obviously riding at the Ben Fund will be in front of a big audience, and a chance to show the British public how much we've come on and how much there is to look forward to in years to come.

"There are some young guys coming through now into senior speedway and there will be more in recent years.”

"Most riders support the Ben Fund but don't necessarily know too much about its operation, so the intention is to let the youngsters know all about it.

"A couple of the boys have done the Ben Fund before at Swindon and King's Lynn, and we do try to educate them about the Ben Fund. I think Paul is keen to talk to them before the event. The boys will be fully aware of what it's all about, we all know the risks of the sport."

Of course the important thing about all the work that is done on the under-age racers is the end product, riders emerging for league teams. Vatcher feels that is going according to plan.

"Jordan Jenkins will be riding for Mildenhall, Keane Dicken is at Birmingham and I'm expecting Kyle Bickley will probably end up at Belle Vue though that hasn't been confirmed yet. Tom Brennan is at Eastbourne and I believe the Woodhall brothers will be getting a team place somewhere.

"These riders have all come up from the 125cc class, and worked their way up. They have been educated from the start of their careers at 8 or 9 years old and now they are turning 15 or 16 they are going to the next part of their careers. It's a big year for them all.

"I really do believe that the younger generation are getting to a top standard where we can compete with the Polish and Scandinavian riders. We're not only competing at the Under-21 and senior levels but we are competing all the way down the line now."
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