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Imps display team look to keep riding

PUBLISHED: 12:16 09 April 2015 | UPDATED: 12:28 09 April 2015

A British Imps rider jumps through a ring of fire (pic: Graham Doderidge)

A British Imps rider jumps through a ring of fire (pic: Graham Doderidge)

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Newham outfit need new bikes to fulfill calendar

A group of British Imps riders in formation (pic: Graham Doderidge)A group of British Imps riders in formation (pic: Graham Doderidge)

Newham-based British Imps are hoping donations can help the club continue past it’s 45th year.

The Imps are a motorcycle display team that were founded from the Hackney Adventure Holiday Project, which took young children away from East London and to the countryside.

A British Imps rider jumps through a ring of fire (pic: Graham Doderidge)A British Imps rider jumps through a ring of fire (pic: Graham Doderidge)

Some of the youngsters on a trip found a disused motorcycle which project leader Roy Pratt said he would show them how to ride it if they got it working.

Since then thousands have passed through the team that have taken part in events in the UK, such as the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, and abroad and Pratt has been awarded an MBE.

Shortly after the troop were founded Pratt had a chance meeting with a senior Honda representative when shopping for motorbikes.

Within hours the Japansese company were on the phone offering the Imps free bikes and the informal partnership lasted for the club’s first 30 years.

Since the partnership ended, apart from a brief period where Yamaha supplied discounted equipment, the team have had to fund the bikes themselves which has proved a burden as they are a registered charity.

The existing crop are currently unrepairable and the Imps are looking to purchase new machines in order to complete a busy 2015 calendar.

Jamie Waller, who was a member between 1985 and 1996, has now set up an online funding campaign to ensure they can continue.

After hearing of their current plight Waller decided to do all he could to ensure a club that was a big part of his life could carry on going.

Before he sets off for his day job, Waller wakes at 3.30am to give him four hours to work on the fundraising efforts.

Having witnessed first hand the benefits of being a member of the Imps, Waller wants to make sure youngsters can still enjoy all aspects of being part of a motorcycle display team.

“I’m passionate about giving others the opportunities I had as a youngster. It’s vital we keep it going,” said Weller.

“It’s a passport to go out and see the world. By the time I was 16 I’d been to places like Singapore, Canada, Belgium and Norway and I’d never been on a family holiday.

“I just remember the pure excitement I got from taking part. It gave me discipline, structure and a lot of friends. I put my success in life down to the Imps.”

To buy new bikes the team are looking for £36,000 in funding through online fundraising.

They are also hoping to attract a title sponsor, whose name will appear on the team’s livery at every event, to help them in the future.

For more information about the Imps visit impsonline.com, where you can also find a link to the club’s fundraising pages and information on how to join the club.

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