June 24, 2024
Speedway Hub - British Speedway News

SGP Academy for FIM Speedway’s youngest riders launches in Prague

SGP Academy for FIM Speedway's youngest riders launches in Prague

Speedway’s youngest stars are set for an inspirational weekend on and off the track as the SGP Academy launches with a packed three-day programme in Prague from May 30-June 1.

Open to youngsters aged 10 to 13, the event at the legendary Marketa Stadium will feature riders from eight different countries and four different continents as FIM Speedway global promoter Warner Bros. Discovery Sports and the FIM, motorcycling’s global governing body, join forces to build on the successful launch of the FIM Speedway Youth World Cup (SGP4) project in 2023.

With coaching from Swedish six-time Speedway GP world champion Tony Rickardsson – founding father of the SGP4 project – plus American four-time world champion Greg Hancock and former Czech Republic international Tomas Topinka, the next generation of stars and their families will get the ultimate insight into life in the FIM Speedway World Championships on the weekend of the Orlen FIM Speedway GP of Czech Republic – Prague on Saturday, June 1.

2023 SGP4 champion Elias Jamil leads in Malilla. PHOTO: Jarek Pabijan

A PACKED THREE-DAY PROGRAMME

Riders will meet with a Speedway GP star on race day, giving them the perfect chance to ask questions and find out more about life on the world’s biggest speedway stage.

As well as on-track practice, coaching and training races, young riders will be given advice on many different aspects of speedway, including the rules of the sport and working with and maintaining the bikes.

Riders will also get the chance to take part in mock press conferences and TV interviews, learning vital skills when it comes to working with the media and managing their social media accounts.

The 2023 SGP4 top three with coach Tony Rickardsson. PHOTO: Jarek Pabijan

SGP global ambassador Rickardsson will watch the Prague Qualifying Practice session with his students, before taking them on a tour of the pits ahead of the evening’s Speedway GP action.

The SGP Academy takes place just two weeks before the FIM Speedway Youth World Cup (SGP4) returns to Swedish club Malilla for its second staging on Saturday, June 15 at 12:00 CET.

FIM Speedway World Championships director Laura Manciet is delighted to see WBD Sports’ vision to introduce the stars of tomorrow to the FIM Speedway world go a stage further in 2024.

She said: “Last year’s SGP4 launch was one of our team’s proudest moments as young riders from all over the world joined us in Malilla and gained a great introduction to life in the FIM Speedway World Championships.

“Staging the SGP Academy just two weeks ahead of this year’s SGP4 event in Malilla allows our young riders to gain vital knowledge on and off the track as they learn from some of the best in the business.

“WBD Sports hopes to see members of this SGP Academy class progress through SGP3 for under-16 riders and SGP2 for under-21s, before eventually making it into Speedway GP and racing with the best riders in the world.

“This is the next step in our vision to develop the stars of the future and we thank Tony Rickardsson, Greg Hancock, Tomas Topinka, our partners at the FIM, our local organiser in Prague, Pavel Ondrasik, and everyone involved in delivering this fantastic opportunity for our young riders.”

Tony Rickardsson with some words of encouragement for Britain’s Oliver Bovingdon. PHOTO: Jarek Pabijan

FIM Track Racing Commission (CCP) director Armando Castagna commented: “We were very happy with the launch of the SGP4 programme in 2023, and developing the SGP Academy with WBD Sports is the next big step for us.

“Placing these young riders in this environment and taking them behind the scenes at an FIM Speedway event is a great way to inspire and educate them as they take the next steps in our sport.

“On behalf of the FIM, I thank everyone involved in the SGP Academy event and I look forward to welcoming our young riders and their families to Prague.” 

SGP ambassador Tony Rickardsson, designer of the SGP4 bike and leader of the SGP4 and SGP Academy project, commented: “It was such a fantastic experience to work with the young riders and their families in Malilla last year.

“The SGP Academy is about more than just giving the youngsters time on the bike and a few tips about their riding. It’s a chance for them to learn about different aspects of the sport – everything you need to become a top rider.

“Our long-term ambition is to ensure WBD Sports and the FIM have plenty of riders competing for places in the Speedway GP series for many years to come. But for now, our priority is to give them the tools to get their FIM Speedway careers started in the best way possible.”

FIM Track Racing Commission (CCP) director Armando Castagna. PHOTO: Marcin Karczewski

Words by SpeedwayGP – Feature image – The SGP4 class of 2023 in Malilla. PHOTO: Jarek Pabijan

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