Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Agility Committee 2011 Meeting

Our club elects a new Agility Director each year, and this year it's Nedra.  She is in charge of scheduling agility classes, field and equipment maintenance, and setting policy.  She called a meeting at Don's Seafood Restaurant for last night and over dinner laid out her plans for the coming year.  Lots of good changes are happening, every one of them correcting things I've had complaints about in the past:
  1. Advanced Beginners no longer requires proficiency in 12 weave poles, and concentrates on teaching short sequences and classic setups rather than running full courses.
  2. A new Intermediate class, after Advanced Beginners and before Competitive Handling, where handlers are taught advanced handling techniques as much as dogs are trained on the equipment, drills like "around the clock", difficult entries, etc.
  3. Instructors may offer "specialty classes", such as "2x2 weave poles", "handling techniques", "recreational agility", etc.
  4. Minimum course enrollment of 3 students, on a "pending sufficient enrollment" basis.
  5. Maximum course enrollment of 6 students, so every student gets 5 or 6 turns.
  6. Instructors at the lower levels can no longer run their dogs during class, except for demo purposes.  At higher levels, instructors can run their dog but that dog must count as one of the 6 maximum enrolled.
  7. Acknowledgment that a "recreational agility" category of students exists that we should also cater to.  Not everyone wants to compete.
  8. Field Fees opened to Advanced Beginners and up, and instructors are encouraged to invite their students to subscribe.  A Field Fees hold harmless clause will be drawn up. 
  9. Query members and the public for possible interest in morning classes, instead of only offering night classes, pending an available instructor.
  10. Promote from within, encouraging more students to compete, and more competitors to teach. 
  11. The damaged/downed fencing will be attended to and repaired. I am to get an estimate from Thom.
  12. For every class you teach (without running your own dog, except for demos), you get to take a free class.
    This last one is great for me, because I will be teaching a Beginners class beginning January 4, which will pay for Maxie's Monday night class.  Our instructors are required to "have put a title on a dog", but I wanted to put both Excellent titles on Maxie before I felt qualified to teach.  Teaching is what I've done all my life, so it should be fun.
In addition, Nedra offered all who pay field fees may be invited to join in on free practice sessions when she's at the field. Turns out, few people want to go out to the field alone, and dogs seem to perform better with company.  This is very nice.  Also, a new Intro Equipment area will be set up, with another short dog walk.
Those in attendance: Nedra, Polly, John R, John N., Sandy, Michele, Georgie, Noel,
Cheryl W., Cheryl H., Tracey, Kay, Mike. (TOTAL:  13, 9 instructors, 4 supporters). Except for Loralie, I think all our most active agility people came, with me being the newest member.  It was a great turnout with a bunch of devoted agility folk and I was glad to finally be included.

Onward and upwards!

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