The “Quinns” Speech – December Blog

Well 2021 we are done and as we get ready to ring the bells into 2022 it’s time to reflect on what has been a tumultuous year.

2021 started with us desperately hoping for the Pandemic to end and the restrictions to be lifted so that we could enjoy our favourite dog sport once again and meet up with our flyball families.  We, as the Committee were devastated when we had to cancel event after event and felt the disappointment from the membership.  Cancelling our Championship event was one of the hardest decisions we had to make but it was made for all of the right reasons.

Six months into the Year and we finally got the green light for outdoor events and All4One expertly took on the challenge of hosting that all important first event back after such a long break.  Indoor racing wasn’t too far behind returning in September however since that point the League has had some amazing achievements in such a short space of time.  Below are just a few that stand out:

Tails we Win Flyball Teams bring the British and European record back under UKFL with an incredible time of 14.53 at Oswestry.  Can they run faster in 2022?  Who can challenge and push those pinks in 2022?

We have had seen several teams qualify for Crufts 2022 and we look forward to watching those teams step out onto that famous green carpet.  Once again huge congratulations to Molten Magnets, Southern Striders, All4One and Paws on the Run.  There are however still spaces with the final qualifier being delayed until January so who will join them?  Good Luck to all teams attending the final qualifier.

We have also seen a number of our juniors qualify for YKC Crufts 2022 showing that the future of our sport and league is very much in safe hands.  Congratulations to Dolphins, Tails and Northants Falcons Chicks.  I am sure you will all do your teams and our league proud.

We now have four incredible teams set to represent us at the Worlds Championships in 2022 as Essex, Tails we Win, Cambridgeshire and Paws on the Run prepare themselves for an epic journey that will take them to the World stage.  I’m sure the members will be watching each of your journeys with anticipation.

The Committee has brought in a few new ideas and concepts over the last few months.  Firstly was the introduction of those double points to try and make up for all of those months of lost racing and events.  The next two developments were introduced to try and encourage new hosts and include the cache of matting to hire and the financial support and buddy system.  Both of which we hope will be utilised as we move forwards into 2022.

As we head into January you will see our Committee post filled and now is your opportunity to decide that position.  There are four incredible (and brave) nominees and I would encourage you all to use your vote.  Closing date is 2nd January.

Our January focus will be about building the league and encouraging new members so please share our social media posts and spread the word about the Flyball Family and that UKFL really is the place to be!!

Our diary for 2022 is looking good with some new hosts taking the plunge so thank you.  Thank you to our dedicated teams who host regularly throughout the Year.  Your hard work and commitment is recognised and appreciated.

The Covid pandemic has not gone away and we do try to keep updated with the Government guidance for England, Scotland and Wales.  I don’t know what the New Year holds and whether those dreaded restrictions will return but remember:

“I wont let them break me down to dust, I know that there is a place for us, For we are glorious”

We will be glorious once again.  We will continue to grow and achieve and it is all because of you, the membership.  UKFL would not be what it is without each and every one of you so thank you.

Thank you to all our hard working officials and a special thank you to Tina, Lynette and Charlotte who have been by my side especially over the last few months as we returned to racing and events.

There is just one thing left for me to say on this New Years Eve and that is Happy New Year.  Let’s see what we can achieve in 2022.  Aim high, the higher the better and don’t let anything stand in your way.

Chair’s Blog November

Apologies for the lateness of my monthly blog but it is a busy old time of Year.  November has definitely had a ring of excitement to it, especially at the Errol Crufts Qualifier which I understand showcased some exceptional competitive racing.  A huge congratulations to Paws on the Run who reigned supreme and will battle it out on the famous green carpet next year.  Congratulations and a huge round of applause to two of our YKC Teams, Tails and Dolphins who demonstrated the skills, abilities and courage of some of our junior members as both also qualified and go through to race in the YKC competition at Crufts! Truly inspirational and the league is certainly proud of each and every one of you.

We are excited to see some new events being populated in our 2022 diary and we welcome Live Wires to the world of hosting as they will be taking the plunge and hosting their first ever UKFL event next year so make sure you save the dates in your team diaries.

Storm Arwen tried it’s best to disrupt racing and dampen spirits at the recent Tails We Win event however the sheer determination and hard work of the Tails We Win Flyball Team meant that the show did go on and I am reliably informed that the Level 3 Judge, Jenny Knight did a sterling job in difficult circumstances to keep racing moving so thank you.

Although Coronavirus has never gone away it has become more prevalent over the last few weeks with the introduction of the new Omicron variant.  (I thought it was a new Transformer film being released when I first heard it) Some restrictions have been reintroduced recently but nothing that directly impacts on our events at this time.  We will continue to monitor the situation and guidance in England, Scotland and Wales and will endeavour to keep you informed and updated with any changes.

As our diary slows down and we head towards the very exciting festive period with trees decorated, lights twinkling and mulled wine in our hands be sure to reflect on your achievements.  Set you goals for 2022 and look to surround yourself with people that push you to do better.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

Chair’s Blog October

So the last month definitely went quicker than expected! What happened for UKFL in October I hear you ask…well it wasn’t as busy as September but we certainly have some things to shout about!

October saw racing return to Scotland with their first event back at Errol since covid lockdown and I understand it was a superb event.  A huge thank you to The Flying Scots for continuing to fly the UKFL flag in the Scottish region.

Northants Flyball Team were the first to host using the UKFL cache of matting for hire and what an incredible event it was.  A cracking new addition to the diary with some more dates now added to 2022 and thank you to Northants for taking the plunge and hosting.

We would like to give a warm welcome to Tasha James from Essex who has taken on the challenge of becoming the UKFL admin officer which means she will be responsible for processing your hard earned points and results after each event as well as other tasks.  Welcome to the team and I am sure that you will be an incredible asset.

Our Junior Members continue to work hard earning points with their Fledge challenges and it was nice to see some of the Halloween pictures this month.

Following some recent feedback our Head and Regional Mentors are working on developing an updated Event Host guide highlighting all your need to know information when it comes to hosting and we are working on an easy step by step guide to IScribe for those who want to embrace technology and our paperless systems.

As you all know, UKFL prides itself on being innovative and forward thinking and we really do take on board the views and comments of the membership and that is why we have developed and recently announced our new financial backing and buddy system for new event hosts.  We are very much aware that hosting an event is a huge step to take for any team and one of the primary concerns highlighted to us was financial viability.  For that reason we want to remove those concerns and we will financially support any new hosts with their first event.  We are hoping that this will encourage those teams who have been thinking of hosting to take the plunge and fill some of those gaps in our 2022 diary and beyond so if you are interested then please contact us.

This last weekend saw Tails We Win Flyball Teams host at their new indoor venue at Holly Lodge with the Spooktacular Event which involved treats, fancy dress and face painting!

I think it is important that we recognise and thank those teams that do already host and provide us with some truly incredible events throughout the Year.  UKFL would not be where it is without the commitment and dedication of our host teams.

Finally I just want to take a moment to reflect as UKFL really starts to build momentum again.  UKFL was born out of a desire to support and a commitment to do better and we can only do this by continuing to work together.  Each and every one of us shares the same passion about flyball.  We all have the desire to be the best handler, captain, trainer or member that we can be so please continue to work together, support one another and together we will achieve!!

Chair’s Blog

September has been an epic month for UKFL with so much happening.  I thought I would write a little reminder about all the achievements and updates to keep all of you lovely members in the loop.

September saw a return to indoor racing at Newark hosted by Junkyard Dogs who offered an extra award to their chosen “Junkyard Dog of the Day.”  The awards went to Merry from Waveney to recognise the lovely working relationship between dog and junior handler and also to Kobe from Tails to recognise the achievements of a first time handler and the dogs first ever league event.

The firm favourite venue of Oswestry also returned which saw Storm Chasers celebrating their 10th birthday but also highlighted the fundraising efforts of one special “not so little” lady Emma Wagg who set herself a mission of racing 12 dogs over a single weekend ably supported by numerous other flyball teams and members to ensure that she succeeded.  Emma continues in her fundraising efforts for the Lingen Davies Cancer Fund.

Oswestry was also the event which saw Tails We Win bring the British and European Records back under UKFL racing to an incredible time of 14.53 with still more in the tank I believe so watch this space as they are certainly not done yet!

UKFL has also been represented at a number of dog events throughout the Country including Dogfest Events at Knebworth and Cirencester and Paws in the Park which included an event hosted by All4One.  A huge thank you to all those teams and individuals who represented us at these events and acted as Ambassadors for our sport and league.  You did an incredible job.

The 2022 diary is starting to fill up nicely with some exciting events and new venues planned and we hope to see more UKFL Teams taking the plunge.  With this in mind we do have an exciting new announcement to make for those Teams who are considering hosting for the first time so keep your eye on the Hub!

We have welcomed two new members to our Social Media Team so a huge welcome to Paul Horgan and Vicky Jones.

There have also been a number of Crufts Qualifiers taking place throughout the Country and a huge congratulations to Molten Magnets, Southern Striders and All4One for racing your paws off to qualify.  We look forward to seeing you representing us on the famous green carpet.

We have recently announced the three teams that will be representing our league at the Flyball World Championships in Belgium next Year and I’m sure you will all join me in wishing Essex, Cambridgeshire and Tails We Win Teams all the very best as they now prepare for what may be the largest competition they have competed in.  I am sure they will all do us proud.

Finally just a reminder that the league cannot drive forward and develop without the Team of fabulous volunteers working as the cogs in this fantastic machine.  I just want to say a heartfelt thank you to each and every one of our officials, volunteers and not forgetting our event hosts.  You all play such a big part in the development and operation of the league and your work often goes without recognition so thank you for everything you do.

If you would like to take a more active part in the league then we are seeking to fill a number of roles.  We are desperately seeking an organised admin officer to take on a number of responsibilities but most importantly to upload all of those DOUBLE POINTS that your dogs are now earning!! We also still need dedicated regional mentors in Scotland and Wales and are looking to expand our Tech Team so if you fancy a challenge and seeing what happens on the inside of the League then please get in touch.

Lets see what October brings but September it has been a blast.  UKFL is back!!