Statement – Jitendra Duffill
I’m very sorry to tell you all that I will be standing down as promoter of Redcar Bears Speedway, which I announced in our programme on Sunday. I owe it to you all to explain my reasons.
I’ve had a memorable 11 years with the Bears, initially as team manager, before taking on a promotional role at the end of 2018. It’s been an honour to take the reins of the club I’ve supported since childhood, but recent pressures and the frustrations I detailed on Sunday, have caused me to call time on my future here, so this will now be my final season.
Running our club takes a huge time commitment, something I’m sure many people could not fully appreciate – it is equivalent to a full-time job, but one that I do not get paid to do, nor do I have any ownership of the club. This means I have to work full time in addition to my promotional role in order to pay the bills, something that is not sustainable in the long-term.
The last few months have put a huge strain on my personal life and mental well-being. Additional pressure due to Covid has made everything much harder, and it is simply impossible for me to continue the way I have been. I’m very fortunate to work for a company that has made massive provisions to allow me to continue until the end of the season – without their backing this would not be possible. Agilia’s support of our club has gone way beyond sponsorship, and I cannot thank them enough.
I can promise that my decision will not affect Redcar’s season – I will continue to work hard for us until the end of the year, when I will hand over to my co-promoter Jamie Swales, who I am currently working closely with. It brings me great pleasure to tell you all that our club is in a great position right now and I’m very proud of my achievements over the last 3 years. I hope it is apparent that I’m extremely ambitious and hard-working, and I believe that the sport’s perception of our special club has changed for the better as a result. Other than my family and friends, nothing is more important to me than Redcar Speedway – I first set foot on the terraces of Middlesbrough Speedway’s Cleveland Park as a baby, and I’ve been in love with our club ever since. That will never change.
I won’t go into detail about my recent frustration with the SCB as I’ve already done that. However, I would strongly encourage our governing body to make any future decisions consistently. A failure to do so, as evident in their ruling of the Birmingham V Redcar KO Cup 1st leg fixture, only brings the credibility of our great sport into question and demotivates promoters who work hard for their clubs. Our governing body has a duty to represent the sport and its members fairly, by ruling consistently, transparently, and without prejudice or bias. I don’t believe all of those principles were adhered to on this occasion. We deserve to be treated equally – being treated differently to others before us without any explanation is something that I cannot accept. It is unfortunately the final straw for me.
I have several people who I’d like to thank for their support since I took over the club at the end of 2018. Firstly, to our loyal sponsors who without, our club could not survive. We are extremely fortunate to have 8 partners who have shown belief in our vision, and I am forever grateful for the faith they have shown in me, and the confidence they had that I would deliver on my promises. Next to our staff, most of whom are volunteers, who have stood by me and the club over the years. They are an amazing bunch of people who have never asked for anything and give their time for the benefit of our club.
Thanks also to our directors, who have always done everything needed to keep our club alive. It’s been nothing but a pleasure working alongside them – I stress that we have always had, and still maintain a very good relationship. Also, to my co-promoters Jade Mudgway and Jamie Swales, who I can always count on to be by my side and are two of the best friends anybody could wish for.
Finally, a massive thank you to all our loyal fans who have supported us through thick and thin. We have a special fan base who have been incredible to me during my time as promoter and you have made it all worthwhile. It really has been an incredible journey we have been on together. I will still be at the MPA every week, even after my work is finished here. I feel touched and am overwhelmed by the messages of support I’ve had since Sunday – there are too many to reply to individually, but I’ve read every one of them!
I’d like to finish by wishing all of my co-promoters at the BSPL good luck for the future. They all work incredibly hard for their respective clubs, have always made me feel very welcome and are very passionate, not only towards their clubs, but towards British Speedway. I hope they all experience the success they deserve.
Here’s to a great and successful season for the Bears and massive thanks to all of you!
Please note that this statement and the opinions within it are mine, and not those of Redcar Speedway.