At the Vikings AGM following the home match against Hull CSC at Cramlington on Sunday 23rd October, there was general agreement about the downturn in Vikings fortunes over the final half of the season with riders hard to find for away matches and a distinct lack of enjoyment over that period. However, although it was also accepted we need to do a lot more to encourage new, much younger riders to join the club, Terry Kirkup’s suggestion that Northumbria CSC withdraw from the Northern League now in order to consolidate was met with mass disagreement, so virtually ruled out. He was at pains to point out that our position looking forward to 2017 is extremely precarious with only one veteran and two generally non-available (for weekends) riders having joined the club this year.
Chairman Keith Dyer was of similar mind and also suggested putting our NL membership “on ice” for a year, but again the suggestion was heavily dismissed by a decent turnout of the membership. Secretary Neil Magee pointed out the danger of any withdrawal in that it could lead to closure as happened in the 1990s. On a brighter note Neil revealed plans for an expanded 3 Rivers League in 2017 with Leith (Edinburgh) and Cramlington sides joining the existing four teams from Fife, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Northumbria, so the opportunities for younger and less experienced riders both sides of the border look a lot brighter..
Richie Smith reported that over 350 new attendees had tried out the sport on our track this year, some achievement on Richie's part considering he's rarely in the north east these days, working as he does in Coventry. However he's managed to attract those numbers through hard work and persistence on behalf of the Vikings although it remains to be seen whether or not we see any of them again.
Treasurer Jim Smith informed the floor of the fairly healthy position of the club’s finances following a year of hefty expenditure on track and facility improvements. However Assistant Treasurer Jason Keith, aka The Enforcer, stressed the importance of regular weekly or monthly subscriptions being key to our future survival.