Today was the Annual General Meeting for ATBA-UK, the national governing body for mountainboarding in the UK.
After 8 years on the management team, I, along with everyone else on the team resigned. I’ve had an amazing time, and learned so much about running an organisation staffed entirely by remote volunteers. We put on lots of mountainboard competitions, trained lots of new instructors, and tried all kinds of things to get people into mountainboarding and riding more. I’ll miss all of those things, miss the amazing places I visited, but most of all I’ll miss all the awesome people I met.
What does the future hold for ATBA-UK? We want to do everything we can to ensure that ATBA-UK can continue to work on its mission of supporting the growth of mountainboarding in the UK so we’re looking to appoint new directors who will take control of ATBA-UK, and to set up a licensing business model whereby licences can be granted use the intellectual property of the ATBA-UK. This means that other organisations and individuals can apply to the ATBA-UK to run competitions, deliver instructor training, or anything that the directors deem to be achieving the aim of the ATBA-UK. This new business model means that the ATBA-UK can continue without the need for management team and decentralises the ATBA-UK’s resources to the community. It puts the future of mountainboarding in the hands of the community.
I saw a hitchhiker standing on the side of road, and as I drove past I thought I should pick them up. A couple of miles down the road I remembered the quote that “we are all just guiding each other home”, so I turned around and went back to pick them up.
Younis was a German masters student studying Quantum Physics and was in the UK to attend a lecture on his particular area of study. I told him about mountainboarding and that I was going to a Mountainboard Centre to practice the procedures we use for running competitions. He’d never heard of mountainboarding but asked if he could come with me.
At the Mountainboard Centre the other mountainboarders welcomed Younis without a moment of hesitation, mistrust or doubt. As soon as he stepped into our world he was immediately a brother of ours and was treated that way. He was given food from the barbecue, taught how to mountainboard, and given a place to sleep for the night and the promise of a lift the next day.
That’s what I love about the mountainboarding community.
Today was the ATBA-UK’s first event practice day. In previous years we ran six events a year and so we kept our event management skills sharp, but now that we only have one competition a year we get rusty and we only have one chance to get it right. So we decided that we would practice.
It was the first time that we had the whole team together and spent time talking through how we manage safety during the competitions, the process for registering riders to compete (which is now paperless and much faster), how BoarderX qualification and knockout rounds will be run, how we time runs in the Downhill competitions, and how Freestyle judging works.
It really helped us all learn a bit more about what each other does, which reduces single points of failure, and just as importantly it helped us all feel like a team.