The last 12 months has passed without any major hiccups and I thank all those who made Moto Trials available and fun for us Kiwi’s and the few overseas riders that came to our shores. Every club will have, in its midst, a core of workers who plan, administer, set sections and fetch and carry all kinds of apparatus that will bring enjoyment to others. Thanks for your efforts. Let’s not forget the most important personnel who we usually only see at championship events these days…..the observers. These hardy souls make an ordinary day into a special one and sometimes their role could be likened to a day’s work rather than play. Thanks observers.
Congratulations to those who took out titles and gave good attendance. Congratulations also to those who also furthered their experience with world exploits and to those who travelled in support. Thinking here of Blake Fox, John Haynes, Karl Clark, Steve Armistead, Gavin and Vicky Fox, Brendon Wadsworth, Pete Haynes, and Debbie Clark. [I hope I haven’t missed anyone]
The highlight of the year would be getting a team to France for TDN which, despite not being the strongest team that NZ could enter, came home with a creditable performance. Well done Warren Laugesen, Blake Fox, Stef Downes, John Haynes, Gabby Gundry and Matt Foster with minders Nick Ball and Gavin Fox. We are proud of your efforts and endeavours are being made to get to TDN again this year with a similar team. Our situation to date is that selected 2014 TDN manager John Ravenscroft is working to take a team consisting of Blake Fox, John Haynes, Matt Foster, Stef Downes, Gabby Gundry and maybe Jacob Gundry. If Jacob is not available and there is no replacement for him, the tour may be in jeopardy of being called off.
We will also be wishing the best of success and luck for the contingent of Kiwis that will be competing in the 2014 Scottish Six Day Trial. Go Kiwis.
The “topic” of the year has been “to stop or not to stop”. To non-Trials people I am referring to the FIM directive to run world champs under non-stop ruling [stop-allowed ruling has NOT been outlawed]. I wanted to run a section setting study day last August in preparation of bringing non-stop to NZ in 2014. I then shifted that introduction date to no earlier than 2015 which took away any immediate need to study section setting and consequently the workshop initiative ‘died a natural death’. Since then you, the Moto Trials fraternity, have run a valid poll and ascertained that 78% of you would like the status quo [stop allowed] to remain. I cannot ignore that. My intention is to view the World Trials Champs in Australia and I have got an audience with Australian MA commissioner/s to ask where their country is “leaning” regards non-stop. I see it as being preferable for Australia and NZ to be aligned.
While in Australia I hope to be able to get some agreement on the Oceania challenge. We have had some FIM sponsorship of this competition go unutilised of late and I think it is a good event to include in our calendars. My preference would be to include it into the respective national championships as this would be the most efficient use of traveling funds.
Juniors: I write every year about the most serious constraint to the growth of our sport and I repeat again. The lack of junior competitors will severely impact the sustainability of our sport. Without juniors, Moto Trials is in jeopardy of, at best becoming an older demographic sport with smaller numbers and at worst, extinction. This is not a problem that we face alone. Many sports are competing for a slice of youth and the “pie” is getting smaller. What can we do? That is the difficult bit. One thing I know is that we need to do more than we do now and differently to what we do now. I also know that there are many of us who want a sport for ourselves and will only go the ‘distance’ needed to set sections and/or ‘fetch and carry’. This is the distance required to sustain ourselves but will not foster growth. We need growth. Why? Because old people stop riding and younger people [preferably youthful people] are needed to take their place.
Consider this: Most of the important things you could do to foster the growth of Moto Trials would happen without a motorcycle between your legs!
We have just started the Island champs rounds with Auckland providing a good weekend just gone and Dunedin next weekend. I thank those who take on the task of the higher profile events. It does not get any easier or cheaper. We now like to cater for about 5 different grades within sections and provide all that for the dwindling number of competitors who struggle to afford the cost of travel. On top of that there is the never ending problem of finding observers and getting budgets to work. A Robert Muldoon ‘think tank’ would not go amiss but then it costs to get to our workshop as well. Bugger!
But there are ideas that we can share to grow/evolve our sport so that it survives and thrives. Only last week Craig from Taranaki talked of how their fundraiser earned enough to setup a good championship. I do believe that between us we could redesign our culture slightly to grow a sport that would supply more fun to a larger mass.
On May 23/24/25 I will be in Wellington for the MNZ AGM and workshops. I would imagine that my annual report will be the same as you are reading with the addition of my findings in Australia. I hope to get some closure on where we are going with non-stop and Oceania. I hope to see some of you there.
I intend to stand down as commissioner at the end of this year . That is, hopefully you will have a new commissioner for the AGM of 2015. I have given my best and achieved little. It is time for someone else to take over. I ask you to start giving consideration as to who that may be. Jim Henderson Moto Trials Commissioner
Further to last weeks newsletter I am writing with a request and an amendment.
First the request: Is there any matters that you would like discussed at this years workshop. Advise me and I will try and get it onto the agenda. The only item on the agenda at present is “to stop or to non stop”?
Second the amendment: My term as commissioner will end in May. From now on we should be considering who should be our next commissioner. I will put my name forward for another term [2yrs.] contrary to the one year that I outlined in my report but anyone else is welcome to put their name forward at any stage.