Supporting local has become vital in recent years thanks to COVID-19 and one such local venture that deserves our support is the Huntly International Speedway.
“Everybody wants a bit of time out from it all,” president Red Wootton says.
And by it, we mean COVID-19.
Red, who is also the deputy chairman of the Huntly Community Board, has been involved in speedway for as long as he can remember and here in Huntly since the late 1980s.
He is urging Waikato residents to spend time with family and friends and come out to their final meet of the year – Christmas at the Oval – this Saturday.
Things haven’t quite gone according to plan for events in New Zealand for the last two years thanks to COVID-19, and for Huntly Speedway this has also meant their meets couldn’t go ahead.
“We had the biggest season ever planned for this year, five New Zealand titles.” All have been pushed back to next season, so all is not lost.
All things considered; Red is rather optimistic. “It is what it is, you just have to run with it.”
Cancelled meetings thanks to COVID have had a financial impact on the club, but it’s this go-with-the-flow attitude which has seen Huntly International Speedway placed on the national and international speedway stage. These days, meetings are live streamed around the world and people come from all over the country to race at Huntly.
The speedway plays an important role in building and supporting the wider Huntly community.
Businesses get in behind the club and track via sponsorship, the local schools are given the opportunity via the Lions to fundraise by helping out with rubbish collection and parking. “We do everything locally. I’ve been here for over 40 years and the best thing for me is that this place removes the stigma of Huntly. This is a positive place where people can come and have a good time. There’s a lot of good stuff here,” Red says.
This weekend’s meet – Christmas at the Oval – sees big fields in all the classes and a giant fireworks display which will literally see around $25,000 go up in smoke. Spending the big bucks to draw in the crowd is what’s needed after a tough year though, Red says. “I think it’ll be good to see the families back.”
Christmas at the Oval
Saturday 18 December
Gates open at 3pm, racing starts at 6pm
Vax passport needed for those 12 and up
Pollock Cranes Superstock Teams
See https://huntlyspeedway.co.nz/ for more info.