This year has ended in disappointment because again we have had to cancel competitions. I understand this is happening in other Areas also. We have to have a closing date for entries for each competition and if there are not enough competitors to make it viable we have to give notice in due time to avoid venue expenses, first aid costs and to allow those that have entered and also competition officials sufficient notice to cancel their preparations.
In the past we have asked for volunteers to become officials without success and I appreciate the effort now needed to qualify and revalidate. We are likely to lose existing officials because the average increase in age and if we do not have any competitions there will be no facility for revalidation.
This situation was predicted some years ago and now it is upon us. We seem to have gone back some 40 years when there were few competitions in the Area but for some reason the demand grew and maybe we need to understand why.
If the majority of feeling is that we need competitions, a new strategy is required which may have to be piloted with the help of one of the counties and if successful extended across the Area. Input will be required from the counties rather than just from the Area committee.
I WOULD SINCERELY LIKE TO THANK ALL THOSE WHO HAVE CARRIED OUT THEIR ROLES TO ASSIST THE AREA AND THOSE WHO HAVE SUPPORTED OUR EFFORTS OVER THIS LAST YEAR.