National Flying Club — New Section N
At the recent NFC Annual General Meeting in addition to significant changes of Officials we saw a proposal to create 3 new sections passed by the Committee. Not surprisingly there has been a mixed re-action to the boundary changes not least because of the additional financial impact the decision will have in the short to medium term. And in some quarters the breaking up of existing Sections is considered to be a weakening of Section competition.
Looking at the decision from a Sportsman FC member’s perspective-the general feeling is quite positive and seen as a step in the right direction insofar as National racing in the North East is concerned. However whereas the NFC is known for having a cautious approach to decision making, the creation of a new Section N whilst pragmatic indeed bold it is not without risk. Therefore it is worth taking a more detailed look at the argumentation supporting the Committee’s decision and their positive drive to enhance National racing in the North East.
What are the benefits NFC racing offers the North East Fancier?
- Proven record in promoting and organising UK National racing.
- Experienced administration processes and staff with proven track records.
- On line race entry and race verification facilities.
- In-race provisional results available on line.
- Strong flying competition across the UK.
- Seven National races including a joint Old Hen/Young bird race.
- Individual race winners recognised for performance.
- Annual race programme changes are kept to a minimum.
- Top of the range Transport with experienced drivers and Race team advisors.
- Allocated Section prize money with £100 to the winner of each race and additional prizes dependant on number of entries.
- Open prize money and excellent pooling.
- Fantastic range of Trophies to be won.
- In 2015 3 races carried sponsored new Motor Cars (2 of which were free entry.)
- Regular press coverage in both the Racing Pigeon and British Homing World.
What are the aspects of NFC racing which are less attractive to North East Fanciers?
- Cost of membership to NFC and RPRA.
- Birdage charges may be perceived as expensive.
- Nearest marking station is the Greyhound Stadium at Sheffield (Toft Hill for Sportsman FC members).
- Race entry numbers have to be submitted a week in advance. -Lack of local clock stations.
- Dual Club and National racing can bring extra time management pressures.
- Weather conditions highly influential on results (occasional late morning liberations are contentious).
- Heavy losses can be expected until a team is established. (Switching experienced and very successful Combine/Amalgamation birds to National racing is no guarantee of success.)
There we have it many of the key Pro’s and Con’s involving National racing into the North East. The NFC committee have set out their stall and it is now down to the North East fanciers who are interested in National racing to step forward. Currently there are nearly 4000 NEHU members and amongst these are some of the best long distance fanciers in the country and we have a golden opportunity to establish the North East as a major force on the National scene. There is no doubt that fanciers in this part of the UK have the ability to successfully compete and challenge for top spots in National racing and bring home the glory that goes with a 1st Open NFC we just need to see North East fanciers take up the challenge. Looking ahead I would argue that Specialist National racing has a great deal to offer despite some of the current challenges.
The Sportsman FC at Toft Hill has successfully removed many obstacles to National racing which face North East fanciers. We have tremendous support from like-minded distance fanciers across the UK along with business sponsorship in 2015 from Vanrobaey Feeds. There is no reason why other groups of interested fanciers could not come together and model their own local club for National racing on the Sportsman. The more that pick up this challenge then greater is the argument for our own marking station in the North East. Give me a call if you think I can help in anyway.
Finally members of our club wish Mick McGrevy and Phil Curtis all the very best in their new posts as NFC President and Chairman respectively.
Secretary (Sportsman FC)