What a wonderful FPA Worlds. The most important thing I believe is we all got together to celebrate each other and our sport. I recall Cheryl crying at the end of the awards ceremony. I asked her why she was upset and she noted this was the last time we would all be together. That moment hit me. The dynamics of so many countries and cultures meshing as one, with the love and friendship and jamming, I believe is the most wonderful, unique experience in the world. Remember all the love we shared with each other and never lose sight that love is the most powerful aspect of our community.
As I previously noted, with the tournament results comes a passing of the torch! In a stream of consciousness kind of way, I would like to go through many of the different facets I believe this entails. On the jamming field there is no question youth is served and most of it is outside the US. The sheer numbers alone could tell a big story but it is also the depth of skill that is so overwhelming. I am amazed and am ready for this growth to continue.
With this torch passing comes a responsibility! I was struck by Iwan's statement regarding the 90 percent of the support came from the US while 90 percent of the litter came from Europeans. I don't really believe that but it put a thought in my mind. It is time for the Europeans to take more ownership of the sport. I believe you are ready! The FPA does not run smoothly just because a few folks are on the FPA Board. It runs smoothly when everyone in the FPA contributes. A tournament runs smoothly not because someone decides to be a tournament director. It runs smoothly because others are there to help out as needed...and in the case of bigger events, both before and after. It is critical the more time you spend in the sport, the more you give back. We are a small, grass-roots sports on the big stage. Our best hope for further growth is if everyone contributes in their own way. It is the little things that make the sport great. If everyone at a tournament helps out one time is a small way, the tournament is better. Help move a table, pick up someone else's trash, help with judging, thank someone who is working hard. We are all volunteers, remember that. Lisa is not making anything running the FPA, Skippy made nothing running judging. It is the love of the sport that drives them. We need to thank those people who put forth the effort. At FPA's I think of Lisa, Skippy, Bethany, Doug, Rodney as perhaps the most visible and deserving of all the praise we can muster, but there were many more that helped and deserve thanks as well. I also think of Iwan, Renee, Frank, Michael and other locals that worked their butts off. All that effort, for the love of the sport and for all of us, is to be admired. It should be mimicked by all of us.
What each of us individually does in public is observed and the sport is many times judged by passersby based on this behavior. If someone sees a shredding move, they say WOW, what a great sport. If they see someone leave garbage on the ground, the whole sport is perceived to be as second rate. If they see a big event, well organized, they will come back. This happens when everyone helps out. If they see a disorganized event they won't come back. That happens when folks wait for others to do the work.
We are truly at a crossroads in the sport in so many special ways. This is the opportunity of a lifetime for all of us. We are ready to be great and explode. The big time is right around the corner. We are very fortunate to have this opportunity available to us. It likely will not happen again.
The keys to the kingdom are yours...Look in the mirror. What do you think of the future of the sport when you look?
It looks bright to me!!