This a personal message to thank those many SOTA participants who have sent messages pledging their support for the Management Team in its continuing quest for the best future for SOTA. Encouragement is always welcome, especially in this time of siege, and the sheer scale of that support is extremely touching. There seems to be a widespread understanding of the many difficult issues facing us, and a realisation that, whatever the eventual outcome, there will be some disappointments as well as new opportunities. That is the very nature of life, and SOTA is no different. It is just impossible to please everybody at the same time, however much we would wish for that outcome.
For the majority of participants, SOTA is, quite rightly, all about activating, chasing and exchanging views on the Reflector. Spare a thought for all the “behind the scenes” activity by various MT members, undertaken in order to support the “front line”. There is constant development work in progress on SOTAwatch and the SOTA database, and that does not come “free” in terms of time and effort. There is also the regular task of updating the database with summit changes, as well as keeping the information up-to-date on the SOTA website. It is only when something goes wrong or is missed that anybody actually seems to notice, and how quickly is it sorted out then? Great credit to both Jon and Gary for their dedication on their self-imposed treadmills, all carried out in addition to full-time employment.
Meanwhile, Tom is also hard at work dealing with incoming questions and responding to general enquiries, as well as ensuring that short wave listeners are included in the SOTA family. No less importantly, Roger has the vital task of ensuring that SOTA does not overspend its budget, as well as ensuring that everybody gets the awards and certificates they have claimed. Without the huge amount of largely unsung effort that each of these guys contributes, the whole SOTA machine would rapidly grind to a standstill.
My own area of responsibility is “New Associations”. A glance at the Association Status page on the website will show an impressive list of enquiries. Some new Associations “come to life” quite easily, whilst others seem to constantly encounter setbacks that can cause disheartening delays. Yet other expressions of interest may never come to fruition, for a variety of reasons. All of them, however, require a vast amount of information, assistance and advice during their development, often with translation difficulties added for good measure.
In addition to our individual areas of work, there are constant exchanges between the members of the MT regarding the future direction and focus of SOTA, whether stemming from ideas within the team, or from suggestions from the wider SOTA world. This all takes significant time and effort. We are all involved in SOTA because we believe in it, but at times it seems that our very involvement prevents us from participating more actively as activators or chasers. I’m still waiting for an opportunity to make my first activation of 2008, and my recent chasing has been rather spasmodic too.
Once again, thank you for your support and encouragement – it means a lot to us.
73 de Les, G3VQO