He played in goal for Ipswich Town, now he's helping Ipswich Witches' young stars


Ipswich Witches star Drew Kemp being assessed at the GB Performance Training Camp. - Credit: Taylor Lanning

Ipswich Witches youngsters Drew Kemp and Anders Rowe have both hailed their training at the Great Britain Performance Camp.

The highly-rated kids were put through their paces by a man who once played in goal for Ipswich Town and is also an ex-England training guru who worked with the likes of David Beckham.

Chris Neville played once in goal in Ipswich Town's last game of the 1989-90 season at West Brom. It was the John Duncan era and Town won 3-1.

Now he's working with Ipswich Witches stars and other GB speedway racers.

Kemp became one of the first motorsport stars in the world to be wired up for Biomechanics data capture while roaring round a track.


Anders Rowe, of Ipswich Witches, going through the paces at the GB Performance Camp. - Credit: Taylor Lanning

He said: “It’s really important to keep improving in every single way. Even if it’s just one per cent better in certain areas. 

“Being part of the Great Britain set-up is massive for all of us. Some of the new stuff we are doing is state-of-the-art.

Most Read

“I think more than ever, fitness and training is paramount in motorsport. But it’s vital to get the right training and nutrition. If we can be prepared in the best possible way, it can make all the difference.”

Jason Crump waves to fans as he celebrates the Witches victory with team-mate Drew Kemp.

Drew Kemp gives Jason Crump a lift round on a victory lap after the Witches beat King's Lynn recently - Credit: Steve Waller-www.stephenwaller.c

Rowe has clearly come on leaps and bounds since his stint in Poland last season and also believes the GB influence is a big boost.

He added: “I’ve learnt more than anyone over the past year that knowledge and expertise is just so important.

“I learnt so much in Poland and every time I spent time with Chris Neville with Great Britain I come away fitter in mind and body. That gives me belief on track too as well as peak performance in the best way I can.”

At the recent Great Britain Performance Camp in Southampton, Kemp was one of the first riders to be wired for data collection.

GB has engaged the services of specialist Motorsport Biomechanics to see how racing the bike affects and stresses different parts of a rider.

To gather data, Kemp had wireless sensors attached to his torso that provide muscle activity data for analysis from run to run. 

This can provide, for example, an insight into muscle use between fastest and slowest laps, and the data can then be used to help formulate specific training regimens.

Anders Rowe takes the chequered flag to win the opening heat.

Taking the chequered flag - Anders Rowe - Credit: Steve Waller -www.stephenwaller.com

In one example, Kemp was experiencing arm pump during a race, with the muscle activity data used to identify when forearm fatigue was starting to set in, which in turn allowed for the rider’s trainer to adapt their muscle conditioning program to better effect.

Chris Neville, head of performance at GB Speedway Team, revealed: “We are one of the first in the world of motorsport to collect muscle activity data live on a speedway track with our Great Britain speedway riders. 

“It’s incredible to think these machines can go from 0-60mph faster than an F1 car! Working with this new technology, we have found these actions cause huge muscular demand."

Meanwhile, Tom Brennan and Kemp have received call-ups to represent Great Britain in this year’s FIM World Under-21 Championship.

GB were originally due to have four places in the qualifiers but with the Belle Vue round being cancelled due to the pandemic, allocations have been reduced for all federations. Anders Rowe was spoken to, but decided to concentrate all his efforts on his two British clubs in his league racing.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter