Statement Regarding the remainder of the 2019 Season - 28th June 2019
It is with regret that we have decided to call a day on all SERRL races for the remainder of the 2019 season.
We have not taken this decision easily, but our season this year is just snowballing out of control. We are now in position where riders are not entering events due to cancellations, presuming they will not run. We are also seeing (understandably) people pulling out of their volunteering roles for future events due to the current state of affairs.
We will take stock of the situation and hopefully come up with a plan that works for 2020 or step aside and let someone else have a go at running it.
We are by no means saying every decision we’ve made has been correct, but we have done our best. What I will say is that when we tried to point out to the regional board that this situation was potentially going to happen if all we could provide was a calendar like we were left with, we were ignored. As volunteers who have full time jobs and who do this in our spare time, we are not prepared for both this amount of extra work involved in trying to ensure every race runs or the amount of abuse we get from riders who we thought we were helping.
Here are some of the issues we’ve faced this year and our thoughts.
Not enough Affiliated Riders
· This year the league has suffered with fewer riders affiliating to the league.
Possible reasons for this are:
1. We had many events turned down for Kent due to not having enough AMS (accredited marshals). Kent is the only county that insist on events having AMS. This meant we had to use courses outside of Kent. The regional board often used the AMS for other events in the region stating that once a course had used AMS, it couldn’t go back to red flag marshals only (this was not true).
2. The leagues traditional and historical membership base has been Kent and South East London based clubs and riders. The league this year, going by feedback, has proved less appealing to these riders.
3. With many of the events now within the same geographical area as the Surrey league, SERRL has become just a mirror of them, and a much smaller less important one at that.
4. So, many of the riders who the league appeals to this year and would like to affiliate and ride our events are the same as SL and as such are faced with having to affiliate to two leagues and potentially volunteer at four events rather than two.
5. Some riders are not keen on the individual affiliation and volunteering and don’t wish to be named as a volunteer and would rather it done through their club organising a race.
Club Affiliation versus Individual Affiliation
There’s always lots of discussion about this this and we are aware that many people look back through rose tinted glasses of how it used to be. Here are our reasons for changing to individual affiliation:
1. There are many more smaller clubs / race teams now than there used to be and the league does not have a varied enough calendar to allow these size of clubs to be able to run events. The SL model works well because there are many smaller events on circuits. Also, the SL is so established and large, that the race a club has to organise often becomes that clubs’ main event for the year.
2. In our first year, we were let down for most of the races by the clubs when they could not provide enough volunteers for the race. This ranged from the large well-established clubs down to the small race teams. With the big clubs already organising lots of other races and the small ones just not having enough members. There were of course some clubs who went above and beyond and delivered an excellent race.
3. We know for a fact that despite many people thinking it ran well in the past with the club model, this was one of the main headaches with running it and Kim was having to constantly chase people up.
4. Our main reasons for changing to the individual model was the headache of a club not being able to run their event, giving us a big problem, rather than just maybe a couple of individuals to cover. Also feedback from the smaller clubs / teams was that they just didn’t have enough members to be able to affiliate, so this way suited them.
5. In 2018 season this system worked well and caused us a fraction of the inconvenience, with only a handful of individuals letting us down and this mainly being toward the end of the season. This way we only had to get the odd person to step in at short notice.