Dear SANPO Pigeon Fanciers:
It is with humility and a huge degree of pride that I address this newsletter to you all.Humbled by the fact that you have entrusted me with the position of President of your organisation, humbled by the confidence and faith you bestowed upon me and proud of being the elected to hopefully assist in directing the Sport into the future.

Sure we have many challenges that we are faced with ahead of us, but none as great as the challenge of continuing to be an organisation by the Fancier, for the Fancier and elected by the Fanciers.

I also thank all before me for their efforts, and hope to fill the expectations I am sure many are expecting from me and SANPO in future.

SANPO is well aware of the greatest challenge facing our sport i.e. the ever escalating costs and diminishing membership,which, if not addressed, will result in this wonderful sport only being practiced by the elite few.   This should never be allowed to happen and SANPO is committed to direct all efforts necessary to ensure the Sport is made cheaper for you the Fancier.

Challenges as we see it now and going forward are not new to any of us:

  1. a) The cost of Food for the pigeons
  2. b) The cost of Fuel for Transporters for Tossing and  Racing
  3. c) The cost of Electronic Rings
  4. d) The cost of Medicines
  5. e) The challenges to accommodate both big and small Fanciers in harmony within the Sport.
  6. f) The protection of its members in their participation of this wonderful Sport
  7. g) Being an effective and efficient Custodian of the Sport to the best of our ability.

The question in every region by the negative few is – What does SANPO do for me/us??? 

This is a very valid question that requires an introspective look at SANPO. However there should also be an Introspective look by the enquiring party as well.   A retort in the past was – well what you expect for a mere R50 membership fee you pay to SANPO – which I might add has remained the same for 2015.

This however is not the answer or position SANPO takes when answering such questions,   but we have rather looked at ourselves and needed to be as honest with ourselves as we should be.

The answer to this question is that SANPO indeed does a lot for the FANCIER in the Management and Control of the Sport in our country,

  • SANPO provides structure to the Sporting Code in the Country, having a robust Constitution – although not perfect – it provides order and rule for the practicing of the Sport.
  • SANPO as Custodian has created a platform through membership via SASCOC to seek higher assistance or guidance on how to address or access certain challenges and benefits.
  • SANPO provides a platform to ensure that the Sport can be practiced through providing members with a platform for Drug Testing of pigeons which is a requirement by SASCOC and WADA.
  • SANPO as member of the FCI can tap into best practices overseas should there be something we can learn from our fellow International Fanciers.
  • SANPO Appeal processes allow Fanciers to resolve matters in a fair and consistent manner.
  • SANPO recognizes Fanciers for the achievements during the course of the year at the annual SANPO Gala evening each year.
  • SANPO awards meritorious Colours for members excelling in the different disciplines of the sport i.e. Administration,    Racing,   Showing and Judging of Pigeons
  • SANPO recognises the feats of the very Pigeons that participate in these competitions
  • SANPO provides a central ordering / purchasing platform for the normal consumables such as Rubber rings, life-rings,   clock ink-pads etc.

There is no doubt that SANPO still has a lot to do and SANPO  is  not naïve to sit back and simply regulate the Sport,   SANPO wants to contribute to the Sport and the Fancy at large.   SANPO wants to be seen as a pro-active body, addressing its challenges head-on and finding alternatives or contingencies for challenges that prove difficult to overcome.

Certain initiatives that SANPO will be embarking on are the following:

v  Conducting workshops with all ETS OEMs/Agents and to share SANPOs possible roadmap ahead pertaining to the ETS (Electronic Timing Systems) Policy of SANPO going forward.

v  Updating the SANPO website creating an “Ask the Vet” interactive link whereby Fanciers can ask for advice from Avian Vets,  describing the symptoms, and possibly posting pictures of sick pigeons on website,  so-doing eliciting an educated possible diagnosis and advise from the Vets that will be assisting with this initiative.   This will hopefully save the Fancier some time and money by hopefully getting the correct diagnosis first time right as well as  therecommended medicines to possibly be used.

v  SANPO is reviewing their internal Financial methodology and updating all standard operating procedures within this sector – although an internal housekeeping matter it nevertheless will create an efficient and effective Fiscus policy for your organisation to interact with.

v  SANPO have established a Strategic committee to plot the roadmap ahead for the Sport in South Africa – this will be in consultation with you the Fancier as well.

v  SANPO establishing a Research fund for Avian vets to investigate viruses and illnesses effecting the Pigeons in South Africa – these Research topics will be identifies and afforded the relevant priority.

v  SANPO will be establishing a “Development One Loft”  with lower entry fees for members wanting to enter and compare their pigeons at One Loft Race level,  however not having to outlay copious amounts money to enter these birds into these lofts.   Prize money would not necessary be of prime objective for the Fancier but rather the opportunity to pit his standard of pigeons against other like-minded thinking individual fanciers pigeons.

v  SANPO will be undertaking a total census of the Fancier in South Africa,   obtaining relevant e-mail addresses from those members who do have e-mail in order to communicate directly with the Fancier on SANPO communications such as this in future.

Whilst SANPO undertakes to do its share,   the pigeons Sport in South Africa can never expect SANPO to be the sole responsible party for the expansion and development of the Sport in this country.   SANPO will definitely do its share,   however it is each and every one of you,  the Fanciers responsibility to take accountability for the development of this wonderful Sport in our country and therefore I challenge each and every Fancier to introduce a new member to your sport and to positively think of ways of developing the Sport.

Juniors are the obvious grass-root we always attempt to address, however we should not be restricted in our recruitment initiatives as sometimes the middle-aged bracket are more probable to the Sport.

SANPO keep you updated whereby progress and initiatives are shared with you the Fancier.

Best of luck for the coming racing season and Fancy Pigeons events which is upon us all.   May your pigeons continue to provide you with the peace and joy that they symbolise.

Yours in sport

Fadiel Hendricks
SANPO President