Shortage of volunteers at Reading's Palmer Park Track means the track league will struggle to operate beyond this year

The future of the Reading Track League is back in doubt after a volunteer shortage means the track may have to close in 2017.

Following a report by Cycling Weekly last October that the league may have to end, it was thought its immediate future was safe when one of the current volunteers, Richard Poole, received offers of help from willing enthusiasts.

However hopes have since been dampened following news that the incoming organiser who offered his services has decided to withdraw the offer of help, leaving the league back at square one.

“We might be able to struggle on this year [without more volunteers] but it will be very, very difficult,” former organiser Poole told Cycling Weekly.

>>> Racing returns to Reading’s Palmer Park track

Last year’s organiser has agreed to continue in the role for the time being but will not be able to commit beyond this season which runs from April 18 – September 26.

An appeal is made to anyone who can ideally help from this season onwards to work alongside this year’s organiser to ease the handover process.

New organisers will need to operate the transponder computer system, which categories immediate results, as well as changing lap boards and other general track duties.

“People don’t need to know about track racing to work the transponder because it’s essentially just a computer exercise,” added Poole.

“All we need is a bank of people who could commit two or three times a year, a handful who we can call upon and work within a rota. 

“We have had three transponders but when two are away, we’re in trouble. We can run the league without the transponder but it has been such a success, having results immediately and being able to mix categories in races and still get results.”

Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer organiser for the track league should contact Richard Poole on 01189 867144 or via email on r.poole@btinternet.com

  • So sad that I live 6000 miles away. I’d love to help at Palmer Park. So I hope some of my fellow UK retirees can donate some time.