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From The Chair By Chris Williams - 09-08-21

From The Chair
By Chris Williams

I recently came across an interesting article in a magazine which said more than 3million households  have taken on a pet since the covid pandemic, scientific research has shown that having a pet has huge physiological and psychological benefits particularly among those with a disability, naturally this in my case was somewhat preaching to the converted because I think this is something that thanks to pigeons I have understood for sometime, because there is no doubt in my mind that pigeons have a cathartic capability which is seldom understood .

Well, the young bird season has started for most of us, how are yours doing are they doing as well as Team GB in the Olympics?  However, your racings going I hope you are enjoying it because that’s what it’s about, speaking of the Olympic games did you know that A pigeon racing event was an unofficial sport at 1900 Olympic Games held in Paris. There were six events contested, open to any French team located more than 80km from Paris. Each team was required to release at least 100 pigeons. In total, 7,721 pigeons were released from 48 teams (source: 1900 Olympic Games Official report), don’t shoot the messenger pigeon folks as I am not getting into the debate as to why or not the great sport of pigeon racing isn’t officially yet recognised as a such, but I am sure those within our ranks who truly have as the Belgians say “a pigeon in their heart already regard it as such why else do we do what we do, for pleasure yes of course but don’t forget that as its pigeon racing there has to be winners and losers just like any other game or sport. Pope Pius XII said: Sport, properly directed, develops character, makes a man courageous, a generous loser, and a gracious victor; it refines the senses, gives intellectual penetration, and steels the will to endurance. It is not merely a physical development then. Sport, rightly understood, is an occupation of the whole man, and while perfecting the body as an instrument of the mind, it also makes the mind itself a more refined instrument for the search and communication of truth and helps man to achieve.  

Surely pigeon racing can be looked on in the same way because it requires total dedication and focus on the part of the fancier, given that we are solely responsible for the care and well-being of our winged warriors then nothing else is good enough, for  if we do not give the birds proper consideration how can we expect any degree of success, this applies not only to each fancier on an individual basis but also collectively in federations and clubs across the nation and indeed globe.  We  only have to glance at the news and out of our own windows to see the world and her weather  patterns are in dramatic state of change and as a younger second generation fancier I have to ask the question will this impact racing in years to come.  In September 2019 a global commission chaired by a former head of The United Nations stated Global actions to slow climate change are promising but insufficient," "We must invest in a massive effort to adapt to conditions that are now inevitable." I am by no means an “Eco warrior” but a passionate pigeon fancier and looking at the heavy losses many  experienced  fanciers have unfortunately encountered this year then perhaps the fancy too needs look at making adaptions?   

Unfortunately I haven’t received any additional info regarding the first young bird race of 2021 at ST Leonards and St Ives RPC so I can only put the result which was shared on social media.  3 members sent  38 birds to Littlehampton on  July 31st  liberated at 10 am  in a west wind.  Taking 1st Club  with a dark hen on a velocity of 978.688  is Alan “disco dancer” Johnson who also scores  21st Dorset federation (26 members sending 528 birds) taking 2nd &3rd club is Jim White with a blue bar cock doing 922.630 and a checker cock also on  922.630   4th position with a check hen on a velocity 547.267 is claimed this week by our novice fancier Cameron who showed real sportsmanship  as despite teething problems with his ETS got all 6 of his entrants home and is looking forward to future races.  That’s all the news from St Leonards and St Ives RPC this week .

Looking at the clock I had better head to the loft and see the young birds until next time enjoy your pigeons !