I applaud the brilliant opportunities being offered to our younger, aspiring players (a real credit to the bands concerned). My question is: Is there a place for players of a certain age/ experience, beyond being relegated down the ranks? Would an organisation such as the National Lottery, consider funding a band of Veterans, who could then support the development of younger players? I am approaching 56 years of age, still capable, but frustrated that more and more bands see me as an assistant euph, or second bari, rather than the Principal player I have always been. Obviously, as an ex-school teacher, I strongly support the development of the younger generation, but I am increasingly frustrated by the lack of opportunities available to a person of my age, in banding, without the threat of losing status. I have always depended on bands supplying instruments to use, thus have never had one of my own. This now leaves me in a situation where it is difficult to find a suitable position, but am unable to keep my lip in, due to lack of instrument (and instrument costs exploding beyond my financial means). There must be many in my situation, I am sure that given the opportunity to create a band and compete, we could work our way through the sections and support the banding community at the same time, with work-shops and learning opportunities for the younger groups that we could visit and perform for. We do live in a young persons' world, I have no qualms about that, I would just like to see the older generation valued and our experience appreciated more.