At the AGM on 13th February 2015 the committee was asked to consider how best to provide volunteers for area competitions. This was discussed at the committee meeting on 3rd March and the following was agreed.
It is a condition of team entries at Area Qualifiers that clubs provide volunteers to help run the competition; the number of volunteers that the club must supply at each qualifier depends on the discipline and the overall number of entries. Show jumping and dressage, for example, usually only require one helper per team, whereas horse trials requires one helper per rider.
It is sometimes the case that the organiser of the Area competition does not need to allocate a job to every nominated helper. In these instances, the organiser allocates roles equally across clubs and the individual Chef d’Equipe then allocates these roles across their list of helpers as fairly as possible.
In the past, we have allocated some of member’s duty days to area competitions. However, given that qualifiers often take place at venues that are further afield than our own club competitions and may be longer days than a club competition, it is difficult to do this fairly. It is also felt that as those members who do not compete at Area qualifiers already support teams through subscriptions (which subsidise championship entries), so they have fulfilled their responsibility to help the club be represented through team competitions. The decision has therefore been taken that teams are themselves responsible for providing volunteers.
It is felt that this principle is not disputed. Specifically area competitors recognise that by entering an area competition they are accountable for the volunteer requirement their entry creates. Although it is agreed that the Chef d’Equipe’s role includes coordinating helpers, as part of taking entries, it is not supposed that the Chef is also responsible for finding sufficient helpers to support the teams’ entries.
The suggestions proposed at the AGM have also been considered further. There are restrictions on what events scouts can assist at, that would prevent them supporting Areas. Pony Club members would have to be accompanied by parents and it is understood that local clubs are already under the same pressure as riding clubs regarding volunteers. The token system, whereby team members support an Area qualifier at which they are not competing in order to fulfil their responsibility for the qualifier that they are competing in, works as far as members exchanging duties is encouraged. Our reservation with this suggestion is that a Chef d’Equipe cannot supply a ‘token’ to the Area organiser, so the exchange would need to provide a named person. We would certainly encourage members to work together however, by exchanging area duties where possible, or by asking other members to swap ordinary duty days with them. Contact details of all members are available in the back of the programme, or from the secretary and the Committee are happy to assist by posting notices on the website or social media.
Members are encouraged to submit alternative suggestions to the committee for their consideration.