|At cage. Bangladesh. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Pigeon racing has been around since the 1800's and has lived on to this day. The fascinating aspects of the sport are numerous, to say the least, and the bond that man can create with the bird is a treasure that everybody needs to experience at some point in their lives.
However, I've noticed recently that the sport is steadily declining in popularity. Sure, we still see a plethora of websites about pigeon racing on the internet. But if you notice, none or only a few of them don't go out on a limb to promote the sport at all. All we see are charts, racing results, pigeon auctions and obscure pedigrees. All of these only serve to bore those people who have not been exposed to the hobby yet. If we wish to promote the sport to as many people as possible, we have to begin focusing again on the things that led us to the sport in the first place.
The sport's decline in popularity can perhaps be attributed to a lot of factors. First, kids today have a short attention span. This is why most of them tend to lose interest when they discover that racing pigeons take a lot of time and effort. Children today would rather go to the internet and tend to their online farms instead. Or maybe the thought of taking care of pigeons is not their idea of being "cool".
Here's what I think. If we want to spark interest in pigeon racing as a hobby and a sport, an effort has to be made in regards to reaching out to kids. After all, the fascination with pigeons is in its truest form in the eyes of a child. Their minds are not subjected to corruption by the lure of money that comes with the sport, nor would they care much about a pigeon's type of pedigree. They only care about the pigeon's majestic appearance, the beauty it emanates through its stark shades of aquamarine, and most of all, the grace displayed as it streaks through the sky. I can feel pigeon racing professionals laugh in jest at this genuflection, but let's not forget that most of us have been led to the sport because of these same reasons.
As someone who spent much of his childhood racing pigeons, I have learned invaluable lessons that I still find useful as an adult. The sense of responsibility that one acquires in raising these magnificent birds is something that I'll always treasure. Racing pigeons have also instilled in me a competitive fire that few of my peers can match. The data gathering, the strict training program, and the meticulous feeding, etc. have all contributed to my sense of discipline. All these things played a big part in my success as a professional adult. Wouldn't it be awesome if your kids can benefit from the same hobby and in turn, make them better individuals as they grow up?
If you love the sport of racing pigeons, stop for one moment and visualize a child smiling while a beautiful pigeon is perched on his right arm. Now that's truly a sight to behold.