RSPBA indicates only two major championships for 2024
The letter from RSPBA Chairman Kevin Reill, December 6, 2023, said:
To the members of the RSPBA
I said I would get a message to you as soon as it became clearer to the Board of Directors the situation regarding Major Championships in the 2024 season.
At this moment in time, I can only confirm that we have the Scottish Championships, Leven Grove Park, Dumbarton on the 27th of July 2024 and the World Pipe Band Championships Glasgow Green, Glasgow on the 16th and 17th of August 2024.
I can imagine the disappointment that this will bring to many of our outstanding bands who support the RSPBA year on year. It is very disappointing to the Board of Directors who have worked tirelessly to secure Major Championships.
For the last 2 years we have been working with many Local Authorities and private entities, not only in Scotland but England, Ireland, and Eire.
As you are aware many Local Authorities are finding the ‘money’ situation as difficult as everyone else and they, tell us they don’t have the disposable income to commit for 2024.
Many of the meetings we have had are looking towards Local Authorities hosting Major Championships in 2025/6 and onwards. We will continue to be involved in these discussions.
One Local Authority has indicated they won’t be able to tell us until January 2024 if they intend hosting a major championship.
The Board of Directors have a group in place to look at some alternatives for the 2024 season, more information will be distributed when I have it.
All the very best for 2024 season have a merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
The Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association
The organization’s bylaws state that it must hold major championships as part of its charitable status. The British, UK and European Championships are all without a home so far in 2024.
The association had indicated that a Plan B could include counting “minor” competitions counting towards aggregate Champion of Champion points.
An RSPBA season with fewer than four major competitions is unprecedented in the history of the seventy-six-year-old organization. In 2023, the association held only four majors, unable to find a sponsor for the British Championships.
The financial implications for the RSPBA could be profound, as the association’s revenue is gained mostly from championship sponsorships and entry fees. According to reports, the association was asking for more than £100,000 for sponsorship of the UK Championships in Northern Ireland.
If there is a silver lining, it could be that minor competitions, which have seen substantially reduced entries over the last few decades, benefitting from increased attendance by bands looking to accrue league table points.
At publication time, Reilly had not responded to a request for further details.
Similarly, no active competing member of the association who would agree to put their name to their comments, fearing political repercussions, could be sourced.
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