Talented speedway rider Drew Kemp wins young sports award and new job all in the same week
What a week it has been for Mildenhall Fen Tigers’ Drew Kemp.
The 16-year-old first won the Young Sports Personality of the Year award at the Suffolk Sports Awards before accepting an opportunity to race with higher-league speedway club Sheffield Tigers next season.
With the future of the West Row-based outfit up in the air following owner Kevin Jolly’s decision to sell, Kemp was the subject of a signing frenzy with a number of clubs interested.
The talented teenager moves up to the Championship club, the second tier of national speedway racing, from the 2018 National League (tier 3) club runners-up in Mildenhall.
The move also sees him step away from Ipswich, a club he has been dual registered at, as they move up to speedway’s top flight for next season.
Kemp said: “Everything feels right about the move, I had interest from other clubs but Sheffield is the right move for me at this stage of my career.
“I have a lot of respect for Simon Stead, the manager, because he was very fast around there (Sheffield’s Owlerton venue) and I’m sure he can help me.”
And Stead, who will officially unveil the rider to supporters on Wednesday, echoed a desire to work together.
He said: “I have been very impressed. They haven’t come for the biggest money, they have come for what they believe is the best move.
“He’s an asset of Ipswich who have now moved into the Premiership and I would like to thank them for helping to facilitate the move.”
The news followed his young sports personality gong at the county-wide award ceremony, now in its 13th year, held at Kesgrave Hall.
He beat Ipswich Basketball Club’s talented starlet Esther Little, from Ixworth, and Northgate Karate Club’s Ruby Hunt.
Bury’s Harriet Welham, a coach at Ipswich Basketball Club, was also a runner-up in the Harrod Sport Sports Personality of the Year award.
The Fen Tigers were also runners-up in the Suffolk Coastal and Waveney District Council’s Team of the Year award while Ipswich Basketball were runners-up in Abbeycroft Leisure’s Club of the Year award.
l Meanwhile, in a season packed full of high drama, another surprising twist greeted fans of the Tigers after the entire team was awarded the club’s coveted Rider Of The Year crown.
With each rider having given their all throughout the season, the management team made the decision to issue the crown to every member in recognition of their efforts.