Oxford Stadium provide young boxers with a night to remember at the speedway

blackbird leys abc1

Share This Post

Scores of youngsters living in Blackbird Leys experienced the thrill of speedway racing for the first time on Wednesday night after receiving a special invite from Oxford Stadium. 

Over 30 kids from Blackbird Leys ABC watched as Oxford Chargers’ entertaining National Development League tie against Leicester Lion Cubs ended in a 45-45 draw.

Members were invited as part of the stadium’s ongoing partnership with Oxford’s oldest boxing club, which was saved from closure after it established a new base within the Cowley venue’s health and wellbeing centre.

The centre is due to open full-time this summer and will be managed by the Frank Bruno Foundation – a charity that supports people experiencing mental health issues to have positive aspirations for their futures via non-contact boxing programmes.

David Lestrade, Stadium Manager at Oxford Stadium, said engaging with city’s ‘lost generation’ is a vital cog in the wheel of the venue’s regeneration project.

“Anyone aged 14 or under living locally has never known Oxford to be a city home to one of world speedway’s most famous clubs,” said David. “There is an entire lost generation of youngsters who may never heard of speedway before, and it’s important we connect them to the racing so our community and sporting provisions can be here for many years to come.

“The Frank Bruno Foundation Centre will be a revolutionary facility locally and has already provided a new home for Oxford’s oldest boxing club.

“It was our pleasure to host Blackbird Leys ABC and introduce its younger members to speedway. Hopefully we see them back trackside again very soon!”

Founded in 1960, volunteer-run Blackbird Leys ABC moved into its new facility in May.

The club now has 24/7 access to its own bespoke gym which is home to a permanent ring, boxing equipment and showering and changing facilities.

Club secretary and coach Keith Perisi added: “Partnering with Oxford Stadium and the Frank Bruno Foundation has been a life saver.

“There was a real excitement in the gym building up to Wednesday’s meeting, especially as none of the boys had any experience of watching speedway before.

“It was fast and furious, the kids loved it. I can see a lot of them finishing training and heading straight to the track afterwards now they’ve caught the bug.

“It’s bringing new experiences and creating memories to people living locally, which is exactly what the stadium’s opening should be about.”

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get updates and learn from the best

More To Explore