More and more pigeon clubs are succeeding in their applications for Lottery grants under the Awards for All scheme. But what does this mean for pigeon racing and it's future?
Grants are being spent on Electronic Timing Systems, Transporters and the suchlike.
So before Awards for All how did clubs and fanciers manage? If there was any money left after the costs of the racing, showing and administration - that was not paid out in prize money(!), this would be held in a reserve. Also periodically there would be bird sales that would supplement this reserve. When things got tough - e.g. we need a new transporter now, otherwise we're not racing next season - a levy would be imposed on all members. That is, the amount of money needed, divided by the number of members, would be what each member would be required to pay.
These days, perhaps the levy is over - a short sighted solution if ever there was one - but are these Awards for All grants not the same thing?
It is my opinion that whilst pigeon clubs and federations have such an easy access to large amounts of cash, it will only escalate the short-sighted thinking that has had such a detrimental effect on pigeon keeping in recent years.
There is now no requirement to be prudent, to hold a reserve, a transporter fund - because when the day comes that the present transporter is written off, we can apply for a grant. It can only encourage the philosophy of running assets into the ground, and pay-out all funds as prizes.
What will happen when the money dries up?
While Awards for All are so readily available there is little argument with the short-sighted point of view. Spending money is unpopular, saving money is unthought of! which is sadly compounded by an aging membership. How do we restore strategic and long term thinking within the world of pigeon sport?
Comments? Tweet me @mealybar, smoke signals, or homing pigeon, or something :)