Mid Staffs Koi Show - INCOMING!
In two weeks, The Mid Staffs Koi Society will hold their annual koi show, and like many clubs, this will be their first since the global pandemic. Not only does this put an element of pressure on organisers to shake off the cobwebs, but it also brings an added sense of trepidation regarding the show's “success.”
I bumped into Paul Dolan (the show chairman) at the recent Great British Koi Show. I’ve known Paul for some time and consider the Mid Staffs a familiar bunch, having judged a few of their ‘Grow & Show’ competitions in the past. They’re a lovely group of friendly, approachable koi keepers doing their bit to keep the hobby alive. They also have a terrific sense of humour - which is always a bonus!
It saddened me to learn that this coming show has been a bit of an uphill struggle, with some out-of-club politics and the financial climate making unwanted impacts. Despite all this, the core team fronting the show are determined to make it an event of which the hobby can be proud.
I’m not one for sob stories (everyone has them), but it’s easy these days to overlook smaller shows such as The Mid Staffs and their importance. Big shows are fantastic (in fact), we love them, but the grass-roots koi shows are where it all begins. Some of the most prolific exhibitors today started on these smaller stages. Such shows are vital to the health of the show scene, and they really need our support. But how?
Hobbyists. If you’re free and can manage/afford the travel, why not support the show with your feet and entrance fee? You could also share the show poster; so it reaches a bigger audience.
Dealer/Manufacturer. Interested in supporting the show? Why not contact the club as they're still looking for sponsors - It’s never too late! (Well, unless you do it AFTER the show, of course!) Likewise, share the show poster - what have you got to lose?
We should recognise that the show scene only represents a small and fragile percentage of the wider koi hobby. For those who want it to develop, grow and thrive, it's time to work together as a community to ensure that happens. All koi shows need our support and attendance. None of them should be competing with each other, and (above all) all koi shows can do without petty rivalries, differences and silly chaps who like to measure the length of their net handles!
But, please feel free to disagree...
I’ll be there, all weekend, snapping away - so don't be shy! I’ve attached the show poster (please share) and some shots of the last show to whet the appetite. (Photos provided by Paul)
Go on, come along - and bring a friend!