[CQ-Contest] Where are all the young radiosport folks?

K4XS via CQ-Contest cq-contest at contesting.com
Thu Apr 23 09:23:37 EDT 2015

We're missing one other important component here.  Most of  today's young 
people have been brought up in the "instant gratification"  world.  You have 
to study to get a radio license and it takes time to get  it.
Not so with gaming.  You buy the game and play.  Yes, it  takes time to get 
good at whatever game it is, but there is no initial work and  you to get 
to play the game immediately.  Ham radio is quite different in  that respect.
In a message dated 4/23/2015 10:05:22 A.M. Coordinated Universal Tim,  
k8gt at mi.rr.com writes:
Well,  you have to remember that Ham Radio was "cutting edge" technology 
for the  average public at the time of Sputnik (1957).  I was licensed in 
1959  with a large number of teenagers that were technologically inclined 
at the  time.

Things have changed and there are so many other technological  fields of 
interest.  The general public's image of Ham Radio is "old  fashioned", 
although we have been doing a pretty good job of publicizing  amateur 
radio activities over the last 15-20 years, but we do need to do  more.  
Also demonstrating to kids that we do "real time" live  contesting.

On the other hand, a long time friend who had a Novice  license in 1959 
but never upgraded, and is involved with model railroading  and has held 
offices in the National Model Railrod Association, says that  they are 
having the same problems recruiting young people. Model  railroading has 
also kept up with technology with digital control of  multiple trains all 
on the same track as well as micro cameras installed  in the trains.

The field of remote control airplanes, cars, boats,  etc.  has also seen 
a large drop off of new members.  Most "old  style" hobbies have seen the 
same drop offs.  It's a sign of the  times.

But I have participated in setting up a station for a school to  
communicate with the ISS.  From that we had two of the teachers  involved 
attend the ARRL Teacher's Institute last summer and both now have  their 
Technician licenses, and we had 15 students sign up as interested in  Ham 

I'm now working with another school in the metro Detroit  area for a 
contact with the ISS sometime this year, in the late  fall.

We do have young people entering ham radio and contesting, just  not 
nearly as many as in the past.  I teach a Technician Class  license class 
in the evening at Lawrence Institute of Technology, but  haven't had many 
young people in those classes, but in my last class I had  a female 
student at LTU get her Technician Class license and is now  KE8AAA.

So we all need to work at it.  It is primarily letting  them know that 
ham radio exists and all the neat "newfangled" and "old  fashioned" 
things that we do.  Invite some young folks out to field  day while we 
work other stations via satellite, use new digital modes, or  use old 
fashioned voice and CW.  Show them the fun that we have  without relying 
on "commercial infrastructure".

73, Gerry,  K8GT

On 21-Apr-15 23:35, Colin Jenkins wrote:
> We're here,  but most of the other younger guys I know don't read or post 
>  CQ-Contest.
> eSports and competitive gaming popularity is  growing at great speed. 
> find that there are very many games  that boast professional groups
> sponsored by a myriad of gaming and  eSport companies. Some of the more
> popular games include Counter  Strike:GO, World of Warcraft, and League of
> Legends.Teams like Virtus  Pro, Cloud9, and Na'vi are professional teams;
> practicing many hours a  day and competing on international levels year
> round. For these  gamers, this is their job.
> The difference between these two  activities (both of which I enjoy
> immensely) is the level of  sponsorship and ability to earn an income by
> playing these games. For  example, Twitch allows anyone to stream video
> games live to the entire  community. I've seen viewer numbers hit over 
> during certain  competitive events. Don't get me wrong; I absolutely enjoy
> running  pileups, meeting new people at multi-ops, and learning more about
>  station engineering but it is merely for my own enjoyment and at my  own
> cost. Having the ability to stream and make money from streaming  video
> games is becoming increasingly easier (even via mobile devices  now).
> I've struggled with how to get younger guys into the  hobby for quite some
> time and don't really have a concrete answer  (perhaps because there may 
> be a concrete answer), but I think  there are more out there than 
> The World Wide Young  Contesters chat room is quite active during the day
> with many under  30. Heck, even some of the top ops frequent the room.
> eSports  are here to stay and only going to grow further with the advent 
>  streaming platforms. I, for one, have always enjoyed watching streams  
> contest stations. Perhaps this is something to  ponder.
> Colin KU5B
>  _______________________________________________
> CQ-Contest mailing  list
> CQ-Contest at contesting.com
>  http://lists.contesting.com/mailman/listinfo/cq-contest

This  email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus  software.

CQ-Contest  mailing  list
CQ-Contest at contesting.com

More information about the CQ-Contest mailing list