Commiserations to Rostam as the “first proper loser in BCA history” (his words I must emphasise, not mine)”. Fortunately, I did not overestimate my support and worked my socks off to win, a competitive streak I have found in myself. It is a trait I will pursue in continuing to work as BCA Chair for the benefit of the British caving community in its entirety with the conviction to apply my style of chairing.
I disagree with Rostam’s assertion that the vote reflects how divided caving is at the moment, I think it came down to a straightforward question of how many cavers did I, or my friends and acquaintances know, to influence the vote rather than the politics of the day; the personal touch! Dave Rose, in summarising the “hustings” podcasts, commented on how similar the two of us came across with our replies to the questions put to us.
I feel it is important to recognise the difference between “division” and “opinion”. We are not going to agree with one another all the time but must have the good grace and respect to recognise that and agree to disagree but not fall out about it to the extent where these issues become personal and create division; the case for my way or no way is not how we can progress.
So, I would like to lay to rest the idea that British Caving is divided, it ain’t but a bit like “fake” news, keep repeating it often enough and some of it will stick. My advice is to ignore it and any of the “muck raking” from the past, the future is bright, the past is behind us; there is a great wide world of positives out there which we need to embrace.
At the end of the day, it is all about caving which is our common thread and a very strong one at that; once a caver, always a caver with all the attributes that bestows on an individual, resilience, fortitude, stoicism and a whole lot more creating a strong sense of adventure. We all share these traits, there are no divisions in caving.
You need look no further than the recent Three Counties Grand Traverse, what an achievement; not a dissenting voice amongst 50 or so cavers on the day plus all those involved in the run up to the attempt beforehand, all united in a common goal, a potent “tour de force” demonstrating the best of British caving and what we can achieve united.
To reinforce my message, I take issue with Rostam on the matter of “division” but I wish him well in the future and thank him for his service to BCA and the caving community at large which I promise to serve to the best of my ability.
British Caving Association