Somerset Rebels owner goes back to school

PUBLISHED: 18:22 07 February 2020 | UPDATED: 18:22 07 February 2020

Somerset Rebels promoter Debbie Hancock returned to her former school Brent Knoll Primary for a special visit (pic Burnham-on-sea.com)

Somerset Rebels promoter Debbie Hancock returned to her former school Brent Knoll Primary for a special visit (pic Burnham-on-sea.com)

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Somerset Speedway owner and promoter Debbie Hancock went back to the classroom this week to present pupils at her old school, Brent Knoll C of E Primary, with a gift of book tokens.

Debbie Hancock and Chris Harris (pic Colin Burnett)Debbie Hancock and Chris Harris (pic Colin Burnett)

Returning for the first time since leaving the school where she served as Head Girl, Hancock and club press officer Stephen Allen were invited guests to the end of school day assembly to hand over the prize following the school's winning entry into speedway's 'Attracting the Youth Initiative' scheme.

Schools from across the region had been invited to spend an evening at the speedway and produce a small project of their experience, with headmaster Chris Burnham introducing Debbie and Stephen and reminding the class of their night at the Oaktree Arena last May.

Burnham reflected on what an enjoyable night it was, in particular the honour for many of them of, to be allowed to watch a race from the referee's box.

After Debbie explained that she had not been involved in judging the entries, she said: "When the panel told me that my former school had produced the winning entry this year I was very excited. Those involved in the project clearly had worked very hard and I am really pleased to be able to be standing here, back at my old school and seeing so many happy faces.

"It has changed a bit from when I was last sat on the floor, cross-legged very much like you are now but I really enjoyed my schooldays here and it was great that many of you continue to come to the speedway."

The children were given an opportunity to ask Debbie questions about the speedway club and the other activities that take place at the Oaktree Arena, on Bristol Road, Edithmead.

Hancock added: "That was an awesome experience for me to come back here, certainly the best thing I have done for a long time. So many memories have come flooding back and it is has been a fantastic opportunity to see the school in action.

"Chris, and the teachers are all so enthusiastic in their work and it is good to see the children embracing that enthusiasm. I was also quite delighted that a large number of hands went up when I asked the children if any of them had been back since the school visit.

"At Somerset Speedway we are keen to encourage the kids to come along to the racing, with their parents, as, being the supporters of the future, they are crucial to our long term success. We are open to working with any youth organisations, be they schools or youth clubs, who might want to sample the speedway experience."

Although Somerset Speedway has been a family concern since its inauguration in 2000, it wasn't until 2011 that Hancock became a promoter, but in that time she has overseen a considerable amount of team success and on a personal front was given the honour of being elected to the Board of Directors of the British Speedway Promoters' Association last November.

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