Some fanciers talk about the slow death of the Racing Pigeons Sport. Is it coming to an end? Others say: no way! The racing pigeons sport is better than ever! Look at the millions spent in pigeon auctions and one loft races.
That’s just the present. What about the future? The main indicator of the future for our hobby is the number of newcomers. And as you noticed, most of us started this hobby when we were kids. There aren’t many kids starting with pigeons nowadays. What are the reasons?
- Too expensive?
- Too much work & time consuming?
- People don’t care about animals as much as the older generations did?
- Computer games and other attractions?
- No opportunity to discover pigeons?
Most of the people don’t know anything about the racing pigeons and the fun and excitement they can get with this hobby. For them, all the pigeons are the same “flying rats”, just some stupid birds and we are the strange crazy guys with too much time on our hands, playing with the birds daily and staring at the sky for hours.
It’s only our fault. Take the web for example. How do we promote the racing pigeons sport online? 99% of the racing pigeons websites have something in common and that is – they are all boring for someone who doesn’t know anything about pigeons. Pigeon websites are created for other fanciers only. We need to promote the hobby of racing pigeons and that show the world the greatness behind this fascinating creature which we all love, the RACING PIGEON.
We only care about the next race, we are only focused on the dusty pedigrees, pigeon auctions and race results, and we carry all this on the web. We even avoid to display the pigeon in its natural environment, shape and behavior. We produce cartoon characters, those boring cutout model pigeon bodies on white backgrounds, eventually joined by a stupid pigeon eye which means nothing for the non-fancier (and nothing for many fanciers).
Many popular pigeon sites are stuffed with auctions and race results, and on some of them, you don’t even see a natural picture of a pigeon. How ridiculous is that? A fancier had some latebreds to sell and I went there to see them. While I was watching them in the aviary one guy came and asked directly to see the pedigrees, without even looking at the birds. What!? How can you feel happy buying a crappy piece of paper with a pigeon eventually attached to it. So sad.
When I was a kid, pigeons were a great attraction and many kids were starting in the hobby. Well, indeed, there were no computer games or the internet, and all the other stuff that the young generation is focused on nowadays. I’m also a computer games enthusiast but I think that racing the pigeons is more exciting than a computer game. We must tell the world about it if we want to keep the sport alive. I will try this on Pigeonmania. Each of you must keep in mind that it’s our duty to promote the sport and try to bring new people in.
Here’s a personal example. A 12 years old kid in my town found a baby pigeon on the street. He took it home. Hosted in the attic, the bird started to fly and of course came back… isn’t that cool for a little boy? So, a few more pigeons were brought. Later the little guy contacted me online for some pigeon advices and soon, I told him about the racing pigeons sport. He was delighted.
I also offered him some young birds from my loft and he became the youngest member in our club. You should have seen him carrying the pigeons basket to the club, it was almost bigger than him. This was one example – there are many similar. Think about it. He became a fancier just by chance, finding that baby pigeon on the street.
Although websites and media can help, the best way to help a kid discover pigeons and fall in love with them is to give him a couple of young birds. It seems like the feeling of the bird in your hands and taking care of them for a few days really make you fall in love with the PIGEON.
You get a lifetime hobby and for most of the fanciers, the pigeon loft is the place where they forget about all the worries and problems in life… and nowadays, this is extremely valuable.