Kilby's new role will boost Eastbourne speedway operation

Lee Kilby has been appointed co-promoter of the Eastbourne HG Aersospace Eagles.

Wednesday, 28th April 2021, 2:52 pm
Updated Wednesday, 28th April 2021, 2:52 pm
Lee Kilby is stepping up to be co-promoter at Eastbourne / Picture: Mike Hinves

His position has been ratified by the Speedway authorities and this will allow fellow Co-Promoter, Trevor Geer, to concentrate more on Speedway matters while Lee’s main focus will be on business and administration.

Lee came to Eastbourne Speedway in late February from Swindon, who are not running this year because of stadium works, when he was appointed to take charge of commercial and community affairs.

Eagles Director Ian Jordan said: “Lee has already made an incredible impact behind the scenes in the commercial and administration roles that he undertook as Co-Promoter at Swindon. When I first spoke to Lee to try to sell the ‘Eastbourne Project’ to him, the role of Co-Promoter was a natural part of the conversation.

“We have to have two Promoters and since Mike Bellerby retired we have been looking at ways to fill the role that is right for us and the British Speedway Promoters Ltd (BSPL). Mike did an incredible job administratively and in terms of BSPL/SCB/ACU rulebook and compliance. He has been sorely missed.

“Trevor Geer has been an absolutely fantastic Promoter and friend since the new Promotion took over in 2019 and especially over the 12 months since Mike retired. As well as running his own business and undertaking a major renovation of his new home, he has attended countless Zoom meetings, often in the evening and at weekends on our behalf. His commitment to Eastbourne Speedway in the past and present is incalculable and undeniable.”

Jordan said the appointment would mean Trevor would focus on Speedway affairs, Lee on administrative and business matters related to the Promoter role while he and fellow directors, Les Fineing, would concentrate on Eastbourne Eagles Ltd, the Promoting company.

“We hope and plan that Les will be able to take on a more active role once the season starts, as he recovers from a period of illness and his support of the Club over 30 years and also as my fellow Director cannot be under-estimated,” Jordan said.

“These are unprecedented times and any business that has lost around 95% of it's turnover (gate receipts) but still had to incur significant business expenses throughout the past 12 months will clearly need "all hands on deck" to optimise the re-opening of Speedway and I believe that with Trevor and Lee as our Co-Promoters we are strengthened and everyone has clearly defined areas of responsibility and focus.”

Jordan also explained how a recovery fund to help Speedway club through the Covid-19 crisis worked.

He said: “There has been much publicity about the £300,000 Winter Survival Fund and Rob Godfrey and the BSPL Management Committee and admin team have done great work to secure this. Everyone who has any affinity or affection for Speedway really should, I think, be thanking them for getting Speedway noticed and understood by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and Government at this time.

“However it's important I think to clarify that that sum is NOT for each club as some people have misunderstood this. It is a total to be shared amongst all Clubs who qualify or wish to apply for the money. It is also in the form of a means-tested loan, and the first requirement of application is three years trading accounts.

“In that regard, having formed Eastbourne Eagles Limited in late December 2018 and having only so far filed the statutory one year of accounts, we are not really eligible to apply, and it is a ‘loan facility’ and not a grant, so not something we are able to take full advantage of. That doesn't diminish the help it has already been to some clubs and it is most welcome in that regard.”

Jordan said this made the “wonderful support” the club was getting from its sponsors and supporters vital, adding: “Lee is the best man in the Sport at what he does, so we look forward to 2021 with a degree of trepidation but also an element of confidence that we can come through this awful time and stabilise and grow as we always planned. I believe we have the A-Team on and off the track and we won't fail for a lack of effort."

Lee said he was really excited to become Co-Promoter. “It was what me and Ian Jordan wanted from the beginning. It’s a great club and I look forward to continue the great work that has been put in place. I have been with Ian Jordan in the Eastbourne area for the past week and it has been a really progressive week for us.

“We have really pushed on. It is all about spreading the word. You can go to every Speedway town or city and I can guarantee you will find people who do not know you are there. For us, it is all about engaging with as many people as people. We have lots and lots going on.”