Rebooting The Original Olimpicks
As you will have seen from the previous post, the next RDGS meeting is the first since the games was cancelled for 2017. There has since been plenty of engagement with the community via social media – nearly 30,000 facebook interactions as it stands, which is incredible and shows that the reach of the games can be far and wide.
A handful of people new to the committee who answered last year’s recruitment call have now clubbed together and formed a steering group to drive the revival of the games. It has put together a list of target people within the town whom it feels would be great for the games. These people will be approached privately so they are able to say no if they wish. There is also an outline structural plan as to how the organisation can renew, evolve and in turn preserve The Games’ tradition, while involving as many of the community as possible.
It has been many years since something like this has happened but equally it is far from unusual for events of this nature to have to stop in order to restructure and reorganise, regardless of age or size; People move on, society and communities change and events centred upon and run by small communities have to change to survive. The cancellation of the 2017 games is simply one of the many hiatuses that this games has endured since its inception in 1612, each time returning to roll again. It’s sad in the short term but is also a great opportunity.
The reformed committee very much hopes that the spirit of the Chipping Campden community can be harnessed in order that the next games is the best for years, pays for itself and sets a new standard which can be the benchmark for future games.
Everyone that is and has been involved with the games does so as a volunteer, giving up their time freely and this will continue to be the case. There have been some amazing, dedicated people involved with the games over the years, whose enthusiasm and hard work have meant it has been able to continue, the latest of those being Mr Graham Greenall, who has been custodian of the games’ history for a long while and who also saw that the games required a reorganisation over a year ago. It was Graham who then recruited all of the people on the newly formed committee. We believe that with many people giving what time or resources that they can, there is no reason that the games can’t be a roaring success in the future. However, there is no point in pretending – things have changed an awful lot in the last few decades as regards the responsibilities and liabilities for events like this. There is no reason at all that these changes can’t be accommodated, other than lack of volunteers and skills. The committee is convinced that both are in abundance in Campden, we just need to find them.
The games needs to make money to cover its own costs, it needs to promote itself far and wide to make sure it is well attended year on year and most of all, it needs to be enjoyed and cherished by the people in the town. The aim of the committee is simple; To revive the games, put in place a blueprint for future games, and to ensure the town is proud to host them.
There are a number of busy roles and some not so busy roles which have been identified by the new committee. These will need to be filled so that we can modernise and protect the games for future generations. The more people we have on board the less problematic it is when one person’s circumstances change and they are no longer able to be involved, thus ensuring continuity.
We have put together a simple document which outlines these roles so that you can see for yourself before the meeting next week how many people are needed and for what roles. It will be posted on the games website over the Easter weekend.
We have tried to identify original spirit of the games which has always been about fun. The meetings, the fundraising, the putting on – everything to do with the games should be about bringing the community together for fun. We should be inviting the rest of the world to come and see what can still be done by a small rural community in the 21st century. If that sounds a bit grand, the shin-kicking showpiece on the hill attracts around 3-8 million hits online in the weeks following the games.
Lastly, with regard to communication, we are trying to re-establish great lines of communication with the local community and further afield. We have created a news section for the website in the short term, where important announcements will be made, as well as the minutes from all future meetings. The Facebook Group will continue to function, as will the Twitter account and Instagram. However, in the name of being visible within the town, look out for notices which will be posted at Toke’s and The Volunteer Inn.
We really look forward to meeting you on Tuesday 18th at The Lygon Arms at 7.30pm. We will issue the notes on recruitment before the meeting. Please bring with you enthusiasm and positivity and together I’m confident we can put on an amazing show in 2018.
On behalf of the RDGS