Posted by Patrick (188.8.131.52) on June 03, 2012 at 11:31:47:
In Reply to: Re: handgun 2012 posted by Brian James on June 01, 2012 at 13:12:31:
There does seem to be a drop-off in attendance. That was one of the issues cited by Crumlin regarding last year's outdoor provincials. It seems to be a recurring theme, provincially and nationally.
From a 'provincial' standpoint, there have been a few matches that did quite well. Range Burlington hosted a match in the spring that did well. Aurora hosted another, albeit last minute notifications hurt it. Matches are being held, but people aren't showing up for one reason or another.
The main issue that I fear is that people are hoping that some association will magically fix our sport and propel us into the spotlight. We've abdicated that responsibility to people that have different agendas. Yes, they care, but they have more pressing tasks in their minds.
I think that it is time for target shooters to start organizing the sport again. Help the various matches work together. Coordinate efforts in communication and organizational support. Share the workload, so we don't burn out our volunteers.
Then, make the matches mean something. Right now, if you're provincial champion, it gets you nothing. Anyone who can shoot well, can get on the national team. But, if you do so, you don't even get any coaching. As a national team member, you have won the right to pay for your uniform and pay to go to international events. Now, unless you are truly in line for a national team spot and be competitive internationally, why bother going?
As for Ontario juniors, when they ask if they should go, I question the value. For $2-3k, what do they get? This isn't an attack on the National's organizers. Saskatchewan and Alberta have my deepest respect and admiration for the job that they have been doing over the years. But, the match leads to nothing. It is a beautiful highway that goes nowhere. The Nationals should be a gateway to something extraordinary, but, unfortunately, once you've opened the door, the experience can be anti-climatic.
I see the same issues with the CAGP, trying to make it relevant for people to attend. We're trying to manage costs while making it more like an event, as opposed to just a competition. We're trying to offer seminars and coaching sessions, to broaden the appeal to all levels of competitors. You may not win a medal, but you might learn how to improve your hold, to increase your odds of success over the next year.
I've been having greater success with my airgun training camp. Every year, it grows. Participants are engaged and get value that can be applied later. There are lots of opportunities to work with other shooters and coaches. Its social and sport, and builds toward the future. I think that it is a unique experience.
I think that we need a new way to engage the shooters. Our current associations aren't doing this. Then we need to re-orient our matches to provide multiple reasons for attending. We also need to fix the national system, such that people have a real draw to be on the national team. None of these statements are new. We just need to will to act upon them.
: This issue was raised to the CSSA office staff at the CSSA AGM. At that time, I voiced my opinion that holding a provincial championship was important and suggested the Ottawa Victoria Day Match or the match in Sudbury in early September would be good matches to use as outdoor provincials. Sudbury as I understand used to host the provincials and has a facility large enough to accommodate a high volume of shooters.
: With no outdoor provincials in Ontario and the SFC Pistol Nationals having trouble with attendance there may be a larger issue at play here.
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