TWO Coventry siblings have secured their place in Team GB’s initial squad to tour Australia for next year’s World Cycle Speedway Championships in Adelaide.
Josh and Sammie Marsh have competed for Coventry Cycle Speedway since 2012, racing across the country on a regional, national and international basis.
The pair race bikes specifically designed for competition on a short shale-based track – meaning they feature no brakes, have a fixed gear and specially adapted tyres to provide maximum grip.
While most youngsters may spend their free time at weekend’s relaxing after a week at school, Josh and Sammie can be found either at Coventry’s track in Hearsall Common or competing at one of dozens of venues in the UK.
From early March until late October, the Marsh’s train, race, travel and organise cycle speedway events – meaning the sport pretty much runs through the family’s blood.
Proud dad Lee Marsh, who is manager of the first team at Hearsall Common said: “Cycle speedway is a sport where you get out what you put in.
“Sammie worked hard last year at training and was often on track after sessions to put in those extra laps, and Josh showed a tremendous amount of straight line speed.
“Both have improve massively since first taking to a cycle speedway bike and thanks must go to club coach Myke Grimes who has done a fantastic job in bringing our youngsters along.
“Though the club had a disappointing season in the Midland League and struggled in the Elite League, our youth system is something we can be proud of.
“Josh and Sammie are just two examples of many great stories the club has produced in the past two or so years.”
Sammie has already proven herself as a more than capable rider on track, and in 2015 she finished 14th in the Women’s World Individual Cycle Speedway Final in Wolverhampton – her best achievement to date.
The 15-year-old has plenty of ambitions to succeed in the sport and hopes one day she can reach the top step of the podium in a now fiercely competitive girls category.
She said: “I’ve been racing for just over four years now and it’s the best thing I’ve decided to do.
“Cycle speedway is a rough and tumble sport, but there’s so many abilities racing on track and it’s great.
“Racing doesn’t take place in just the Midlands, it’s an international sport and every year I’ll race up and down the UK – next season will be the first time I’ll take to my bike abroad.”
Meanwhile 17-year-old Josh, who hopes to train as a pilot in the coming years, said he has little time to think while racing on track.
He said: “Everything happens so quickly.
“Like speedway, we race on a shale-based oval track against three other riders – often one of those riders would be your team mate.
“I’m proud to have been selected for Team GB’s initial squad, hopefully this is a sign of things to come.”
Both Josh and Sammie are still on the lookout for sponsors to help fund their trip to Adelaide next year.
Email email@example.com if you’re interested in supporting two of Coventry’s rising stars.
Pictures credit: Paul Devine.