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Futureby John Clemets 06-07-18

The Future of the Sport


John Clements



I believe the UK world of pigeons and pigeon racing is beginning to wake up to the situation it is in. Needless to say the situation is dire - so dire in fact the entire sport could be wiped out in a very short time because of virulent attacks from outside the sport coupled with lethargy from within.


The RPRA cannot be expected to police behaviour  down to the level of every local club or even the level of Federations. . That would be impossible and require so much central administration and warning letters they just could not do it.


There is yet another way they may try but will eventually fail and that is to lean on the major clubs so that by their example local practice will eventually improve. The trouble with this approach is the majority of fanciers in the UK do not race their pigeons in major specialist clubs and major specialist clubs have done little to attract club flyers.  So local clubs will still carry on for many years doing what they do in a local haphazard fashion. Any change to their attitude will be so drawn out and so cumbersome under the present RPRA - Region - Club democracy method  the sport will probably die before the patient can be revived.


Another way is to instigate a system that is self policing through market forces so that the good clubs survive while the poor or badly administered clubs fail.


My idea  of changing the source of Association - Region and club revenue  from membership subscriptions to a situation where income is derived from the sale of identification rings is a good one. Under this concept  possession of a valid ring would grant membership and the right to race without actually being a paid up member. . A fundamental change of this kind has a chance of changing minds.  We surely have to change minds from local or individual self interest if we are to succeed.   Putting it simply, membership democracy and the right to vote is often bullying or an expression of massive competitive self interest. There is a destructive element here  that often manifests itself in restrictive practices such as excluding would be members - limiting the number of birds that can be clocked - and various other self interested devices that do nothing to promote the best the sport has to offer.