In the Agility Link of November 1992, a new activity was launched which was given the name FLYGILITY, as it incorporated skills and equipment from flyball and agility. Since then, a monthly competition programme has been offered through Agility Link (NALA) and interest has grown steadily. Interest in the sport has been broadened by an Internet reference.
The sport has been given a good test. The principles are being used for displays and demonstrations and the sport has received very favourable reception from spectators and sponsors. It is the view of some competitors that flygility should be put on a firm management base in order to fully develop its potential as a fun sport for dog owners, but also to ensure that it is kept solely under the control of the competitors, so that its repuation as a safe, excisting, all-breeds and all-ages dog sport is guaranteed.
For these reasons, the NEW ZEALAND FLYGILITY DOG ASSOCIATION was formed. This Association's main aim is to promote a regulated form of flygility and to work positivily with any other interested organisations towards this end, but always retaining control of the sport.
Anyone who wants to have fun with a ball-loving dog that is under control is welcome to join.
The main thrust of the Association will be to encourage flygility groups throughout New Zealand. These groups, having fulfilled certain conditions, will be authorised to run flygility tournaments within a nation-wide award and title programme. The Association's Executive Committee, which will have representatives from every "area" in New Zealand, will co-ordinate the tournament programme, so as to avoid clashes and maintain standards. The Association has no empire-building or profit-making intentions, but merely intends to cover running costs and promote what is an exciting new dog sport.
1. Handlers of all ages and health conditions can compete equally, as a team is allowed to have an extra person as a runner if required for any handler unable to run with their dog in a re-run. This effectively means a person in a wheelchair would not be disadvantaged when competing.
2. It is ideally suited for all breeds of dogs, for skill is required as well as speed.
3. The sport does not require a lot of space.
4 There is limited equipment, therefore, cost, cartage and storage is not excessive.
5. So long as a dog loves a tennis ball and is under control, it can be ready for competition within a couple of months, with the right training. Basic training can be done in a home garden.
6. As all the equipment is low, a dog can compete at the age of 12 months, but also a dog could realistically compete will into advanced years.
7. As a variety of equipment is used, it is possible to have different levels of difficulty, so making it more attractive for those whose dogs have different levels of skill.
8. Spectator appeal is terrific because it involves lots of action but more than just flat-out speet. There can be two teams running against each other. The variety of obstacles; eg: low hurdles, long jump, bendy tunnel, ramp, weaving poles, and the possible use of curves in the course; create a very competitive atmosphere. Add to this the hype of dogs and handlers, and the situation is electric. The competition variations, done at speed and often resulting in foul-ups, is what the public loves.
9. The fast action of teams running against each other, the equipment allowing for colour and logos, the fact that an exciting demonstration can take half-an-hour or five hours, will make this sport very attractive to sponsors.
10. Setting up a course is neither laborious nor time consuming. This means there can be many different courses set up in a day, allowing a dog several runs on the one day. At public displays, where an official tournament could be very effectively run, spectators are not bored or lost, because of protracted course setting times.