Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Prepping for my first tournament as organizer!

This is an exciting week for me as I'm busy trying to make sure I've covered all the bases for what needs to be prepared for the NB Paddler's Tournament this coming weekend up in Oromocto.    The tournament has been around a few years, and was one of my first tournaments ever last year when I placed 18th out of 31 participants.     Not a great showing, but I had a blast.... and won the early bird prize!

The tournament organizer had to step down and rather than see the event die off, I volunteered to take it over.   The same thing happened with our local event, the Hammond River Classic, so this year I'm actually running two very similar tournaments and have administered them together (to cut out duplication of effort).

Among the responsibilities I've taken on are:
 - Reach out to sponsors, gather prizes, and show appreciation back to the sponsors both before and after the tournament.
- Create and maintain the tournament website for both events.
- Advertisement.   Word of mouth, social media, online classifieds, posters, business cards...etc.
- Prepare all needed paperwork including registration forms, waivers, scoresheets, derby tokens,...etc.
- I will gather and care for any rentals that have been pre-arranged on Friday, so that anyone renting a kayak/canoe for the tournament will have it available for the 7 AM launch time before the rental store opens.
- Bookkeeping to monitor expenses and ensure all participants are paid.
- Judging / Scoring after the event
- Organizing and presenting prizes.
- Collecting as much video and photos as I can and compiling a post-event presentation for the website, facebook and to return to the sponsors.

I have had some help from others in the fishing community approaching sponsors and collecting some of the prizes, but for the most part I've needed to do most of the heavy lifting.    I will certianly look for some help on Saturday again, most likely with judging and scoring, and will appreciate any help I can get there.

There is quite a bit of effort required here, but you know what.... it's been a lot of fun, at least so far.    I've had the opportunity to meet a lot of people I may not have otherwise, and develop valued relationships in the fishing community.

Now in addition to running the tournament, I also plan to participate.   I've been able to arrange some help during the morning of the event to get people registered, paid, given their particpant package and have rules explained.     As such, once the initial ruch of anglers are on the water and things slow down, I'll be able to also get out and do some fishing.    I will lose and hour or two of fishing time compared to the rest, but that's ok, I'll still hopefully catch a respectful number of fish and finish middle of the pack or better.