2015 Dream Team News
USA Dream Team Spring Tour Press Release
The USA Dream Team, after a three year break, is planning to return to Europe this Spring for its 10th Anniversary Tour. The ground breaking project began in 2005 and has since taken over 40 American riders to England. This coming tour is the perhaps the most ambitious to date, as it takes in events in both Great Britain and Sweden, which are two of the three biggest countries for Professional Speedway racing in the World. The Dream Team provides vital experience on European Speedway venues for ambitious young riders and is a very important part of the Team USA blueprint and future plans.
Five riders have so far named to the squad in what will be an exciting and ground breaking line up. The planned team riders so far include 2014 rookie of the year Broc Nicol, a 2nd generation racer and son of former USA Test match rider Doug. Aside from his impressive 2014 domestic season, which included a 7th place AMA National ranking at just aged 16, he has also competed in Australia this winter to rave reviews. The bigger European tracks hold no fear for Nicol, who has impressed at the Euro size Perris and Ventura tracks stateside. It is likely Nicol will have an extended spring stay taking in additional events prior to the tour itself.
The next rider named is Rocco Scopellite, who returns for his third visit to the UK and is keen to get his career plans back on track after serious injuries which have hampered his progress in recent times. Scopellite is much more at home on the bigger European sized venues and his two trips to the UK so far have been equally impressive. Scopellite, with 9 meetings already in the UK is likely to be the most experienced team member and a contender for the role of captain.
Seventeen year old Dalton Leedy is the third squad member to be named. Leedy has been making good steady progress on a 500cc bike and will likely wear the number 6 or 7 bib for the UK matches. A team spokesman said, "Dalton is very professional and ambitious and feels that a trip to Europe at this stage will elevate his progress several notches. In 2014 he made good solid progress and met his goals."
In another exciting step, female rider Hayley Perrault, 17, will create another team first by joining the team. The spokesman said, "USA Speedway has had several girls come through the junior program and it has been a long term goal to have a female rider come with us. We almost got Rachalle Kerr to join us in the past but injuries got in the way. Hayley will be under no pressure at all, she'll be there to pick up the points as she can and learn. We also are looking into her racing against female riders in the countries we visit."
New Zealand's Hayden Sims, who joined the team in warm up events for the 2013 Under 21 World Cup Semi final returns and is buoyant following a 2nd place in this weekends New Zealand National Championship. Sims and his family have been an asset to the team before and given the similarities between US and New Zealand Speedway, he is once more welcomed aboard as a team player.
The remaining squad members should be announced soon with the top end strength of the team being the target.
The team press office concluded, "This is an expensive yet extremely worthwhile trip for any interested riders, and applications to be on the team have not yet closed. It is a key piece in the Team USA puzzle and the results of these tours speak for themselves – five graduates have gone onto professional European careers, whilst dozens more have returned much better riders. In recent times three of the graduates have raced for Team USA in the SWC. Riders need to be competent on a 500cc bike to be considered. 15 year old and above can race in UK races, 16 and up in Sweden.
It is likely in the future the work permit requirements for Americans to race in Europe will be more difficult to obtain, but rather than worry about what may be down the lines, we are once more steeling ourselves to raise standards and any opportunity to race in Europe should be jumped on by ambitious riders. In fact even to race any event in the UK at all now requires a Sports Visitor visa.
We obviously plan to embark on a big fund raising and sponsorship drive to assist the riders and anyone who would like to help both as a donor or corporate backer is encouraged to get in touch with us at +13103099418 or email@example.com. Craig and Laura Anderson, on their own bat, made the first donation to the team a while ago and they are thanked for sharing the vision.
The riders we have named all intend to go but need help with their tour budgets to pull this off. We also can possibly fit in an additional race in the UK so any promoters who would like us to bring our entertaining and exciting team can also contact us."
USA Dream Team
January 4th 2015
USA Dream Team Tour - Meeting for Interested Riders
There will be a meeting at Perris Raceway on 6th December at 2:30pm, between practice and races, for riders interested in the 2015 Dream Team tour to the UK.
An update on scheduling, logistics, fund-raising and other matters will be given to all as well as a question and answer period.
Given there is a 90 day lead time on the necessary Visa's, it is important that riders commit early so that we can ensure legal rudiments are covered.
Riders, parents and sponsors of riders are welcome to attend the meeting, it will last approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour.
USA DREAM TEAM 2015 TOUR FULL STEAM AHEAD!
The USA Dream Team has overcome a potentially disastrous issue and is now moving full steam ahead in its 10th anniversary tour to the UK.
Changes and tightening up of UK Immigration laws and rules had meant many hours of research were needed to ensure that any visiting USA riders entering the UK to race, even on a temporary basis, complied legally with new rules and had their paperwork in order to race.
A Sports Visitor Visa, an inexpensive and temporary permit, is now required for any rider aged over 18 years. However, the UK government, via the sports governing body in the UK informed me last week that riders Under 18 would not be eligible to race in the UK on such a race tour.
This, if correct, would not only kill the 2015 tour dead, but would have major repercussions on our whole Team USA development program, as per this information, no American rider under the age of 18 would ever be able to race in the UK at any time in front of an audience, even in a demonstration or amateur race.
Given that this did not sit right logically (such a rule would mean that no person Under 18 could legally visit the UK to compete in ANY sporting event in any other sport), we took maters into our own hands and sought legal advise from two Attorneys who specialize in UK immigration and visitor law.
I was informed by the attorney's that an Under 18 can compete in sporting events in the UK as a visitor, but they would need to apply for a 'Child Visitor Visa' and this would cover being able to compete in sport. We forwarded the information (A document written by the UK government) to the UK Immigration Authorities late last week. Despite the assurances from the attorney's, it was still quite worrying as one never knows what a government agency may counter with.
This morning I received an e-mail saying that the Child Visitor Visa WOULD grant the right to race in the UK for touring events for Under 18 year olds. So effectively we had to take matters into our own hands and remind the UK government that our activities complied with their laws!
So, all riders over 18 on the tour will need a Sports Visitor Visa, all those Under 18 need a Child Visitor Visa. Family and friends traveling with do not require a visa.
Handling this situation means the 2015 Dream Team 10th Anniversary Tour is all go! Riders will need to sign up earlier than usual as there is a 90 day lead time on visa's.
Thanks go to Nikki Jamieson at the British Speedway Promoters Association for assisting in getting the team clearance to race.
Race Dates So Far
April 11th - Rye House Raiders
April 13th - Kent Kings
April 17th - International Tournament, Vetlanda, Sweden
April 18th - International Tournament, Vetlanda, Sweden