Hedzup Racing – Youth Development At It’s Most Original

Hedzup Racing – Youth Development At It’s Most Original

Hedzup Racing is getting ready for its busiest season since I started it around 2009, we start off in April with Mid Antrim, then East Fortune in Scotland, then its back to Ireland for Tandragee and Cookstown, and that’s only April!!

We intend to have a different group of kids to each event with our GSXR 600 and SV650, other bikes in the stable being built by our team of 12-18 year olds are a ZXR750 for the Classic TT and perhaps pre TT classic, a 2001 Fireblade for the Jurby Endurance boys team, an early R6 for Scotland’s pre injection class , 3 FZR1000s aimed at the Post Classic in Scotland.

A CBR 600 which we are building for the girls team for the Jurby Endurance, as well as these we have 2 of our young members, Finlay Milne and Cameron Low have taken the plunge and bought their own RS 125 Aprilia’s, 14 year old Finlay started last season and 16 year old Cameron is preparing for his first season, with as much help from us as we can.

Endurance team

Photo by Marc Falconer

We have a selection of riders for the team, Ian Pert (that’s me) races the GSXR in Ireland and the Manx GP, as well as Scotland, I also ride the SV, the R6 and the Fireblade in the other events, and I plan to ride the ZXR in the Classic TT, Ali Foster, a talented rider and good friend of the team is part of our girls team and I hope to get her out with us at other events.

Young up and coming rider Ashley Robson from here in Scotland is part of our Jurby Endurance girls team, and this year she is hopefully riding in the Manx GP on her ZXR400, so we wish her the best for that, she is certainly a lady with a bright future in racing, in a big coup for us we had none other than Carolynn Sells come out of retirement to be the final member of our girls team, hopefully she will return for us again this year!

We also have Colin Macdougall, a talented rider from the Scottish racing scene who we hope will pop over to Ireland for an event or 2 with us, the last few years Derek Wilson (the Scottish one) has been a big part of us, this year he has plans of his own, but we will, I have no doubt, be bugging him for help and technical advice!

So, how do we do it all, and why! Hedzup is a not for profit company with charity status, the aim originally was to give youths something to be part of and proud of through them running a race team, we started small, one group of 10 youths, it was to be a one off, but it grew, and grew!

We are currently involved with around 40 youths from a variety of backgrounds but at times we have even more.

The youths build and prepare the bikes and come to events as the pit crew, our “ghost busters” as they were named by our friend June Murray because of their white boiler suits at the Manx GP are well known at the events we go to, the aim is not to turn them into mechanics or racers, but it does happen!

It is to give them a sense of belonging, a feeling of having achieved and succeeded as well as the knowledge that with some hard work and the ability to work together then anything is achievable!

We have no funding for this project, some of the groups we work with are for local councils and schools, which we charge for, it’s the profit on this that helps pay for the youths going to the Isle of Man, Ireland etc, that and donations from our many supporters, fundraisers such as our on line auctions, Bag packs, raffles and corporate sponsorship.

We do struggle, ferries are a big cost when you take so many youths away, we are supported by the Isle of Man Steam Packet, which is a massive help for Isle of Man events, but so far we have no support for ferries to Ireland, I hope we can get that.

We are also helped by Eccosse motorcycles in Aberdeen and Dundee, Huey Brakelines, Holroyd Tyre warmers, Glynne Lewis Photography, BDL Couriers and Cavendish Motorcycle centre in Nottingham, In Front Motorcycles, Continental Tyres, BDS Motorcycles, Chris Richal, Melville Motor Club, but we need more help! For some of the youths involved this project is life changing, how are we going to get through April?

I honestly have no idea, I haven’t booked the ferries yet, as I have no money to pay them, but Im sure something will turn up and we will think of something!

And we are not just a race team, we have also managed to get our hands on a disused army cadet camp in the Scottish Mountains which we hope to rejuvenate and give youths who don’t get holidays a break and an outdoor experience, I am also an outdoor instructor and mountain leader, having spent 12 years in Mountain Rescue, so I believe in giving kids an adventure!

If anyone would like to help us do what we do, or simply ask me a question please email me on [email protected] or use facebook, either Ian Pert or Hedzup Racing. Please come and say hello if you see us at any events this year, we usually have yellow t shirts and the bikes are Yellow, Red and Black.

Words by Ian Pert

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