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Traditional Aspects of Ham Radio May Not Be Attractive to Newcomers:

from The ARRL Letter on October 5, 2017
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IARU President: Traditional Aspects of Ham Radio May Not Be Attractive to Newcomers:

The 24th General Conference of International Amateur Radio Union Region 1 (IARU-R1 convened September 17-23 in Landshut, Germany, with representatives of 40 member-societies present and another 13 represented by proxy. IARU President Tim Ellam, VE6SH/G4HUA, welcomed the attendees, urging them to reflect upon what will attract the majority of young people into Amateur Radio, "and what our mutual expectations should be." Ellam said his personal observation is that, while some younger people are interested in the more traditional aspects of Amateur Radio, many are only interested in ham radio as an adjunct to other possibly unrelated interests.

IARU President Tim Ellam, VE6SH/G4HUA.

"I applaud the excellent work that has been undertaken in this region through the Youngsters on the Air (YOTA program." Tim said, crediting the hard work of IARU Region 1 Youth Working Group Chair Lisa Leenders, PA2LS. YOTA's summer Amateur Radio camps have attracted young hams from around the world; this year's was held in the UK.

"Our ambition should be to embrace these individuals in their activities and accept that some of the more traditional aspects of the hobby will hold little interest to them, and, indeed, may no longer be relevant," he continued. "That is not to say that some are not enthused with what we all hold as the core of our hobby, such as contesting or operating generally. I fear, though, that we need to look at what will attract the new generations to Amateur Radio and make sure we promote Amateur Radio as meeting their needs, rather than promoting the historical view of what Amateur Radio has to offer."

Delegates to the 24th IARU Region 1 General Conference. The Deutsche Amateur Radio Club (DARC) was the host for the conference, which is held every 3 years.

Delegates to the plenary adopted a proposal that all IARU bodies and member-societies pressure national regulators to implement all recommendations that protect the amateur bands. They also approved initiating a simple noise-measuring campaign among Region 1 member-societies, giving IARU the ability to offer an independent opinion on the noise situation in the bands and trends over time.

Region 1's highest recognition, the Roy Stevens, G2BVN, Memorial Trophy, was conferred upon Colin Thomas, G3PSM, for his outstanding contribution to Amateur Radio and the work of the IARU over several decades.

The full Conference Report is available on the IARU Region 1 website. Read more


The ARRL Letter

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