October 25th, 2018.

Youth quad racer Robbie Wood (14) from the Scottish Borders has been selected to join the Scottish Motor Sports Academy, a youth development programme designed to bring out the best in promising young athletes.

Wood, who finished runner-up this season in the hotly contested 250cc Open ANGRY GFX British Championship in his first year in the class, is one of twenty young Scots hand-picked from across the country.

The Academy supports talented youth in all disciplines of two-wheel and four-wheel racing, ranging from enduros to saloon car racing and Wood is the only quad rider to be accepted into this year’s squad.

Announcing the selection at Knockhill Racing Circuit, Rory Bryant, National Development Manager of Scottish Motor Sports said: “The SMS Academy was set up in 2017 to support young riders and drivers aged 14-20 who are showing potential to excel in the sport.

"Having successfully supported 23 young drivers and riders in the 2017/18 programme, applications launched in August for a new fresh squad to come in and benefit from the Academy’s support.

"Since launching the application, we have received a huge amount of interest in the programme. This has made the job of the selection panel, which included representatives from Scottish Motor Sports, the Scottish Auto Cycle Union (SACU) and the Motor Sports Association (MSA), extremely difficult, but after some deliberation, we whittled it down to twenty.”

The SMS Academy members will each be allocated a coach to offer remote support and advice when needed across the year.

Between now and August 2019, the members will take part in four development workshops, which will support them in all aspects of their development, equipping them with the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to maximise their performance. They cover topics including sports psychology, sponsorship, fitness and nutrition, technical skills, communications and sports career planning.

The Academy programme also includes a session on coaching and talent development for the parents of the athletes to help them best support their offspring’s development.

Commenting on his initial session at the Academy, Robbie said: “My first day here has been very interesting, and it’s made me really think about my future.”

He started racing at his local track, Duns, when he was six and gained experience by riding regularly in the northern-based Quad Racing Scotland and NETT Championships before stepping up to the prestigious Southern-based NORA-MX Championship, following in the footsteps of Scottish-bred champions such as John Mitchell, Connor Smith and Murray Graham.