When Vojens Speedway Klub in 2021 sends the young lions on the field in the country's 1st and 2nd division, it was also with a young coach. The 18-year-old Andreas Smedegaard is changing his active career with a new speedway life as a team leader.
By Ib Søby
The leap from teammate to leader can immediately seem like a challenge to the Jante law when it comes to making sharp decisions in an equestrian yard that can exude an excited mood and adrenaline.
- It is definitely something I have thought about and discussed with several people involved in the club, but there is full support, also from the drivers I have to lead, and where several of them are my close friends, says Andreas Smedegaard.
- The drivers will see me as a helper. I have to try to get the best out of them during races, but I am their support and mentor, both when things are going well and when things are going less well. I know it myself from my own active time, and also know that there can be personal issues like teasing, and that can affect athletic performance. Here I am also available with closeness and support, states Andreas Smedegaard.
He himself has driven speedway since he was seven years old with skilled results, but has also recognized that his talent may not reach as far as dreams often do.
- My motivation as a driver started to decline a year ago, and honestly, I simply think I lack the courage to invest wholeheartedly on the track. I love the sport of speedways, and I am happy to find another role where I might be able to make a difference, explains Andreas Smedegaard, who studies at Syddansk Erhvervsskole in Vejle.
In large periods of 2021, Andreas Smedegaard will be studying for a master's degree, and this will happen at his father Per Smedegaard's industrial company Kjærgaard A / S.
- We have agreed on a scheme that creates space for my education and my work as a team leader, and it was actually also my father who pointed out the possibility of becoming a team leader, says Andreas Smedegaard.
Per Smedegaard was himself team leader for a number of years, and with his company Kjærgaard A / S is also known as an important sponsor and support for Danish and international speedway.
Vojens Speedway Klub now has a young team leader who speaks the same language as the young drivers. However, the former team leaders in the 1st and 2nd divisions will still play significant key roles at Vojens Speedway Center.
Ib Pedersen will lead the elite team SES - Sønderjylland Elite Speedway in the Metal Speedway League together with Claus Ørts, while Ib Christiansen continues with emphasis on the role as event leader, which he did excellently at the individual Danish championship in September.