The PTAA manned an information stand at the 2009 Ploughing Championships. The show attracted 80,000 visitors a day to Athy, Co.Kildare from 22-24 September last.
This year there was a marked increase in the number of young people visiting the PTAA stand to join the Association.
The PTAA had a steady stream of teenagers, both boys and girls, asking questions about what the Pioneers could offer them. These visitors were young adults who saw the Pioneers as an organisation that could support them with the choices they have made around alcohol.
Interestingly, a number of visitors said they thought Pioneers chose to abstain from alcohol and did not realise that the Association also offers the option of drinking alcohol in moderation. This development highlights one of the challenges that the Pioneers face - how do we communicate to the general public that the Association is not anti-drink but pro-moderation and respect for alcohol?
There was some interesting discussion about how the Association defines moderation. Some visitors said they found the Association’s personal approach to moderation lacked clarity. However, others said the personal responsibility the PTAA offers its members appealed to them.
This year we were delighted once more to see the return of existing PTAA members. Every year Pioneers from around the country come to the show and always make a point of dropping in to see us at the Ploughing Championships. We would like to thank these Pioneers for their ongoing support.
Over the coming months the Association will reflect on key findings from this year’s show and will assess how best to maximise on return from our presence at future shows.