In The Beginning

A New National Body for UK Kite Fliers?
April 2003

For many years, various members of the kite flying community have discussed the possibility of, and need for, a representative body for all kiteflyers. There are several excellent organisations speaking for particular groups or providing specific services, such as The Kiteflier magazine from KSGB. But there is not a single body that represents us all, including the more extreme variants of our sport/hobby.

I decided last year that it was time to do something about it. Rather than standing on the sidelines carping about the issues, I felt someone needed to do something positive.

I have discussed this with a number of people, including several clubs and organisations. The response has been generally supportive.
Now it is down to UK kitefliers. If they want it to happen, it will. But they will have to find the people to run it and they will have to find the money to administer it.

Let me stress two things. I started this because I was not prepared to carry on simply talking about it, but I have absolutely no intention of running the organisation – work and kite commitments would not allow that. Second, if this is to succeed it must not be dominated by any one club, organisation or ‘code’. And that includes the club of which I am proud to be secretary, MKF. This is not being promoted in any way by them or any other particular club or society.

Why bother? What’s in it for its members? As individuals, probably not much as it would not be the intention to challenge the way existing clubs support their members. However, with increasing pressures from event organisers, insurers, regulators and the like, I believe there is a need for a body which represents us all and which keeps up the pressure both to promote kite flying, and more importantly to promote the interest of kitefliers.

So with that said, how can it be financed? There are several ways: a per capita levy on clubs, individual membership, club membership. I have suggested in the draft that it should be individual membership. This does not preclude per capita levies or other mechanisms, but I do believe it to be important the body represents the ordinary kite flier and is not dominated by the larger clubs or particularly vociferous interests. We also need to consider how shops, manufacturers and other traders might both support us and be included within the wider group.

And the name – others have been suggested such as Kite Fliers UK.

I would welcome comments and views, and if you want to take this forward, please email or write to me.

Jerry Swift
Howardian View
Great Barugh
North Yorkshire
YO17 6UZ
Tel: 01653 668157