FOR THE third successive year, the Wightlink Warriors have been awarded the prestigious Silver Shoe Award at the Annual Speedway Awards, hosted by the World Speedway Riders Association (WSRA).

To the surprise of many at the event, held in Leicester, the Isle of Wight club was named the WSRA Community Club of 2021.

Having stepped away from the mainstream bodies controlling the sport last March, there was a widespread belief in the wider speedway community the Island club would become isolated, struggle or even be ignored.

However, the 2021 season proved the doubters very wrong with a new mix of innovative track sport, that provided racing opportunities for all abilities, drew record crowds to Smallbrook Stadium and attracted consistently high praise from those who participated, the sponsors and the spectators alike.

Isle of Wight County Press: Morgan Williams, of Wroxall, in action at Smallbrook Stadium this summer.Morgan Williams, of Wroxall, in action at Smallbrook Stadium this summer.

Indeed, it was the club’s recurring ethos of 'putting fans first' that resonated with the WSRA adjudicators, who acknowledged and praised the Warriors’ ongoing community commitment, by also presenting club owners, Barry Bishop and Martin Widman, the coveted award, which this year was a gold shoe, to mark their treble success.

Barry, stunned by this latest success, said: “Martin and I are on cloud nine. Following our change of direction, we never expected anothernomination, let alone this success.

“Our focus has always been on improving our unique product, involving the whole family and providing value for money on a great night out.

Isle of Wight County Press: Action from the Island Masters at Smallbrook this summer.Action from the Island Masters at Smallbrook this summer.

“We got it right. Feedback tells us as much, and this award adds further backing we were right to do things in a new way — but it has taken a whole team effort to make race night work for everyone.

“This success is dedicated to all those who play a part, however small, in our events.

“Together, we are everything. Martin and I are truly grateful to all those who give full commitment to the Warriors and make our club so great.”