February 28, 2002

2003 European Championships Scheduled for Belgium

The European Championships will be held in Alden Bilzen, Belgium, in early September 2003. The event will be the first time since the now defunct Intercontinental Pipe Band Championships in Toronto in the 1970s that a Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association (RSPBA) major championship will be held outside of the British Isles.

The expansion to continental Europe apparently ties in with the RSPBA’s objective of becoming more international, and marketing its product to other interested countries.

Much of the credit is apparently due to the RSPBA’s new executive officer Ian Embelton, and the work of the Millennium Group, an ad hoc committee struck in 1999 to analyze the association and recommend a path for change.

“People are actually lining up to bid for the Majors now that Ian Embelton has the business side of the RSPBA ticking over nicely,” said an RSPBA insider.

It is thought that the RSPBA’s Annual General Meeting in March could be a watershed event for the association. On the agenda at the meeting is the official adoption of the Millennium Implementation Group’s plan to overhaul the organization. There are reports that a minority contingent is out to protect their interests and try to block the report’s implementation.

Prize monies for RSPBA major championships will increase in 2002 with new sponsors being attracted through a more liberal marketing approach.


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