POOLE Pirates are planning to play host to testimonial meetings for both Richard Lawson and Kyle Newman in 2024.

Poole-born Newman was one of four riders granted testimonials at last week’s annual general meeting, for their long service to British speedway.

The 31-year-old began his career with the Weymouth Wildcats and has had multiple stints at Poole, including in the 2023 campaign.

Newman is not set to be part of Pirates’ 2024 septet, but the club have confirmed a meeting will be held for him at Wimborne Road next year.

Lawson, who has been with Pirates for the past two years, is also set for a testimonial at Poole next year. He was granted the meeting ahead of the 2023 campaign, but it was held back for next year.

It has not yet been officially announced whether the 37-year-old will remain part of the club’s team for the 2024 Championship season.

A big topic to emerge from the AGM was the focus on youth development, with clubs committing to play their part in 2024.

This will involve each club either competing in the National Development League, staging events in a new National Individual series, or taking part in a youth programme to be run in second halves following senior meetings.

It is now compulsory for each club to take one of those options.

Discussing Poole’s planned route, promoter Danny Ford said: “It is a big step forward with the emphasis on youth development as we all know how important this is for the sustainability of the sport.

“All Championship and Premiership clubs will be participating in mandatory youth development on a tiered system.

“Our specific participation as to which tier we will be taking is yet to be decided but we are committed to the programme and that means there will be more youth opportunities at Poole for the 2024 season.

“Hopefully our supporters will get behind this and enjoy the development of the sports future.”