Posted by: sleddogassociationofscotland | 7 September, 2018

Pre Season Problems!

Afternoon All

First of all we wish to apologise for the delay in publishing our race calendar for the up and coming race series and we hope it hasn’t caused any inconvenience for those wishing to attend our races

As you may or may not be aware, the BSSF held their AGM on the 30th June 2018 which I, Jambo Smith – current SDAS Chair alongside Mary Carter – current SDAS Secretary attended. I was initially refused entry to the AGM owing to the BSSF deciding SDAS no longer wished to be affiliated with them. It was actually embarrassing and I was made to feel very unwelcome and extremely intimidated. I was only granted entry (after a rushed and flustered discussion between the President and VP of Sport) as I am a committee member of the NSDSC – which is affiliated to the BSSF – and was incorrectly told by the current BSSF President that I was able to sit in as a voting member of the NSDSC but ‘I was not allowed to say anything, that I was only a voting member and I was not allowed to have an opinion on any of the subjects’, which was a fabrication and against their constitution and strategic plan.

In this AGM (after a lengthily internal BSSF Council debate on whether the BSSF ‘wished to accept’ SDAS back as an affiliated club) it was proposed and voted in for SDAS to be offered first refusal for organising the BSSF Northern Race event given the history between the two and owing to SDAS being the reason as to why the BSSF now holds monopoly on competitors qualifying to race in the IFFS World Championship.

Since then we have been waiting on response from the BSSF to try and get this Northern event organised only to be ignored for up to several days at a time (first email sent ((17/7/2018) and reply received (4/8/2018) ) and railroaded when specific questions were asked (GDPR policies being fabricated to suit the needs of the council). After standing our ground and reminding the BSSF of what’s been voted in by ‘THIER MEMBERS’ we have now been instructed that the race will go ahead on the date allocated (which we have no problem with) but the BSSF have now also decided that it will be at their chosen venue – Eagle Brae.

We have expressed repeatedly to the BSSF (in email correspondence and also in person at the AGM) that we as SDAS would not be running the race at Eagle Brae. We have named a few venues such as Darnaway and Ford Estate for this race to be held at that are far more economical financially, much better standard of trails, logistically easier to travel to for competitors and yet time and time again the BSSF are demanding it be held at Eagle Brae???? Why??? Why are the BSSF so pro Eagle Brae?? Why are they so insistent on using this venue and not allowing us to chose our own?

From this its apparent to me and all involved that the BSSF are more inclined towards supporting their own council members over its affiliated clubs and their members.

Sadly I’m not surprised by this revelation. I’ve felt for a while that the BSSF’s current Council seem to be adhering to their own personal agendas but I’ve never acted on it. Although after attending the AGM and talking to the BSSF members I can say I’m not alone in this theory which was supported by almost an entire room of people in favour of when I called for a vote of no confidence in the Council due to their disregard of their own constitution, strategic plan and policies and their inability or unwillingness to fulfil their council roles. My proposal was promptly and wrongly refused by a stand in Executive Director of the BSSF who had only been appointed to the role that very morning, however, I do feel that if it had been allowed to be voted on we would be in a very different position today. From all this I had expected to receive some negativity from the BSSF Council, although not quite to the extent of which I have.

For the UK’s Federation to supposedly be promoting ”Cooperation between clubs, associations, federations and sleddog racing organisations” (Strategy2014-18BSSF) they are doing the exact opposite.

Surely I am not the only one who thinks that the BSSF Council acts of its own accord? Do their members feel like they are being listened to and represented? Only recently the BSSF have gone against their own constitution by making over a 60% increase in their junior membership fees and over 40% increase in the adult membership fees. An increase that was neither proposed or voted upon at the AGM. They have appointed a new Council member who proposed their own name at the AGM, who’s names was then refused as it wasn’t, according to the BSSF ‘correctly submitted’ and who was then informed by the President that there was already a individual interested in this role – who’s name remains nameless to this day . Yes, I was just as surprised as the role appointment as you all and I attended the AGM. Only this week we see on Facebook that their Mono Representative has stood down from office and they are now inviting nominations for the role, giving a 5 day period for nominations to be received in. Did any of you BSSF members receive this information by email as per their GDPR communications policy? No, me either, although I’m not surprised to hear they are acting out with their own communications policy.

I mean seriously, how can the comparatively recently formed federation for our Sport ignore its voting members rights as well as ignoring an organisation that’s been established and successfully run for well over 2 decades?

So it’s now become pretty apparent that the BSSF are unwilling to work alongside us by not actually allowing SDAS to run this event as one of our own (thus going against the voting rights and wishes of its members) We are not asking for something out of the ordinary as it was voted in at the BSSF AGM for SDAS to be given first refusal of organising this event. In the past this has meant SDAS would organise the race on behalf of the BSSF. SDAS would choose their own venue, arrange welfare facilities, catering facilities, event insurance, permits, camping….basically everything involved within the event. SDAS and the BSSF have always shared a mutual respect for each other especially when organising events and I’m unsure why this tone has changed of late.

The BSSF was once a dream where the British Sleddog people thought of creating an organisation that would combine the clubs together and be a united stance for us all. It was the opportunity to create the first true British Championship where no breed nor type of dog purebred or open would be discriminated against. It was a beacon of light created in the hopes of making our sport stronger and develop a strong sense of community amongst everyone…

Sadly what it is now is a shambles and truly making a mockery of our sport

I’m unsure where the future lies for the Sleddog Sport in Britain if the BSSF continue down this misguided and narrow-minded path they are hell bent on travelling down..

So with all that being said here is our race calendar for the upcoming race season, unfortunately we have no race in November due to an already internationally packed month and also from the reasons listed above.

Sherwood Pines – 20th-21st October 2018

November (No SDAS race)

Darnaway – 15th-16th December 2018

Culbin – 19th-20th January 2019

Sherwood Pines 16th-17th February 2019

Ford Estate – 9th-10th March 2019

Bowlands – 30-31st March 2019

We wish you all tight lines and clean runs this season and we look forward to seeing you at all the races;

 

Jambo Smith

SDAS Chairman


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