Brainstorming with BSSF
Jenn Davis, our Child Welfare officer, attended the BSSF Fact Finding Meeting on Sunday 14th October. Here are her notes from the meeting:
Overall I do feel positive on how this meeting went. BSSF did not make promises they could not keep but instead listened to the groups that were in attendance. It was a shame that better conference call facilities were not set up prior to the event. This prevented the larger multi-discipline groups not being able to provide their input and instead the majority of attendees were from Canicross groups. However with that said, Jess did follow-up the meeting with a call to SDAS to get their views and notes on this will be included in the BSSF minutes. Personally I do feel that there is positive progress in the system for BSSF if they start showing change soon.
Topics that were suggested:
- Getting our beloved dog sports recognised as a sport by Sport England
- Do not lose sight that we are all here because we love to run our dogs whether on two feet or wheels
- Once recognised clubs could apply for funding and BSSF will assist
- BSSF need 1650 members or more
- These can be affiliated club active members (not just likes on facebook groups)
- Update IFSS rules to be more UK specific but with understanding international races will follow IFSS rules (separate meeting may be required for this)
- Opting out of insurance when signing up to individual membership with BSSF – tick box on membership form – this is only a benefit not compulsory
- Opting out of club insurance – this is only a benefit not compulsory
- Affiliated club insurance would be only apply when 2 or more members of the same club train/race together for it to be classed as a club event
- Affiliation will cost £50 per club unless at least 5 members already have BSSF membership
- Clubs would like to see discounts and offers available to affiliated club members
- Adapted classes for disabled – in the pipeline
- Rebranding BSSF with name change – poll on facebook but will include to keep name of BSSF as an option.
- Pointed out that having Canicross in the title would not be fair as other disciplines not listed out. All dog sports originate from Sled Dogs. Dogs in Harness?
- Open Nordic Breed class for teams
- Canicross asking for more interesting trails at Championship races (2 separate trails at same race?)
- Standard, Novice and Odd Bods classes (similar to CC Midlands structure)
- League system with points and ranking, including attendance points
- Points would be issued based on ranking at approved races and not on technical trails, distance, time.
- Better PR and communication and promoting local events
- Better focus on junior classes
- Remove tag of “elitist” against BSSF
- Races out to tender for local groups to organise, BSSF to set guidelines and have rep present
- Clubs can even join together for the organising of races
- Each year races out to tender
- More races to qualify for national ranking
- Regional reps for BSSF so committee don’t have to attend everything themselves
- More transparency over committee meetings – even just an updated action list
- Calendar for all organised races – BSSF to promote them all
- Race price bands – BSSF member, Affiliated club member, non-member
- Promotion of grass roots is a must
- Better website is required
- BSSF to actively promote “have a go” events run by clubs
- BSSF committee to act more like a governing body and less like another club
- BSSF shop for clothing and accessories to be available all year round.
- BSSF to outline their new vision/strategy
We are expecting the official minutes to be issued shortly and then BSSF committee can discuss what would and would not be possible as well as seeking advice from their insurance broker.