Colleen Joynes, Mid Staffs Kol Keeping Society Chairperson, talks about their Annual Koi Show which has been held at Hollybush for the past 35 years.
What do shows mean to clubs are they important?
Having been a part of the MSKKS for over 25 years, our annual koi show is always our top priority and the talking point of the year. It brings our members together through discussion – how can we improve, what changes can we make, and all this expands knowledge and understanding. The show itself is a great way to promote the club, gain new members and demonstrate what we can do. Every show on the calendar adds to the hobby.
What do they offer members?
Koi shows allow members to exhibit their koi, but (importantly) they can do so with all the help and knowledge of experienced members. The idea is to encourage new members to show their koi and to educate them on the best practices. I know members get a great buzz from showing their koi, regardless of what they win, and I’ve seen more and more women getting involved at shows over the years, which is nice. There’s a great sense of camaraderie.
What do they offer attendees?
A chance to see top quality koi and what can be achieved if you keep these living jewels in good condition (good water = happy koi). They let newcomers ask questions about setting up a new pool. More experienced hobbyists can gain additional knowledge by speaking other koi keepers and professionals – all this is much easier in person. Finally, they give attendees a chance to meet up with fellow koi-nerds and an insight into the standard the judges look for and the quality of koi that get exhibited.
What impact do you believe koi shows have on the hobby and industry?
I believe they encourage and help to keep the hobby alive. There’s nothing better in the koi world than a fix from a good koi show. People see good quality koi in show vats and think, “that’s the sort of koi I would like.” They only positively affect the hobby and industry, and shows can help get new koi companies on the map (providing they attend).
What can we do as enthusiasts (trade/hobbyist to support our shows?
Firstly, you could volunteer and help clubs organise/staff shows. Secondly, you can ensure you attend and pay your entrance fee. Lastly (especially if you’re a business) you can donate flags, banners, raffle prizes or offer to advertise. Shows struggle to obtain these things at times which can threaten the future of shows.
This year’s MSKKS Annual Koi Show takes place at Hollybush Garden Centre on 16th and 17th September.