The annual CQ World-Wide Phone (Oct 30 – 31) and CW contests (Nov 27 – 28) are great opportunities for young operators to get on the air and contact DX stations from all over the world. This year is special for young operators because of the new Youth category for anyone 25 years old or younger. (Rules for CQ WW are found at https://www.cqww.com/rules.htm.)
The new Youth category has created a lot of interest and IARU Region 2 is one of several organizations sponsoring plaques for the top young scorers. In Region 2, there are four plaques: top Youth score in South America for both the CQ WW Phone and CW contests and similar awards for the top score in North America in both contests. In fact, Youth plaques are sponsored for all continents in both the Phone and CW contests.
Contests are a good way to introduce young people, licensed or not, to amateur radio’s ability to communicate around the world. Unlicensed listeners can log all the stations they hear and compare with other “SWL” (short-wave listener) logs. On the air, contacts are short and easy to understand (signal report — almost always “five-nine” and a CQ zone from 1 to 40) so even a mike-shy person can jump in and be successful.
If your club has young operators, please help them get on the air individually or from a club station as a multi-operator entry. Or invite a local young amateur to join you in your shack. Certificates are available for everyone submitting a contest log, so every score will be recognized. In Region 2, stations in South America should see good conditions on 20, 15, and even 10 meters so smaller stations with modest antennas will find plenty of stations to work. North and Central American stations will find plenty of European and Japanese stations, too. Let’s take advantage of good conditions to show our young operators how to have fun with amateur radio!
IARU R2 Youth Liaison Team
Also available in Español (Spanish).