2003 USA Track & Field Annual Meeting
Most of you are aware that USATF holds its annual meeting every year during the first week in December. This year the meeting will be held Dec. 3-7 at the Sheraton Greensboro in Greensboro, N.C. This is where USATF technically conducts its business for the year. That is not to say nothing happens the rest of the year, but matters that require motions by full committees and the whole organization are handled at this meeting. Your Masters Executive Committee handles less important business in your behalf during the rest of the year.
You probably are aware the we have a representative form of governance. The Masters Committee is made up of 96 voting delegates. The largest group of delegates are the Masters Chairs from the 57 Associations. Next is active athletes with 21. Then 10 from amateur sport organizations, five each for at-large members (appointed by the Chair) and elected officers, three each from Other organizations (AATRA, NSGA, and USCCA) and Committees (Athletics/Disabled), officials and coaches).
Where does that leave you the ATHLETE? One thing you can do is come to the meeting and hope you are elected by your fellow athletes to one of the 21 active athlete positions. You might check with your local Association to see if your Masters Chair (if they have one) is going to the annual meeting and will be in attendance at all of the masters meetings. If not, get yourself appointed with a letter from the Association President. You might also be able to join some of the other organizations and committees and be their representative. We need better representation from these groups at our meeting.
If none of this works for you then the obvious course of action would be for you to lobby these representatives to represent your point of view on matters you really believe in. They are representing YOU. If they don't get your input then, they are representing themselves.
One needs to understand that these meetings are not freewheeling like the Athlete's Meetings we have at the Outdoor and Indoor Championships. We have little time and many topics to cover to accomplish our business in the short period of time that we have. It is best to work through issues that you have in advance and have your representative present the topics to me and the Executive Committee for consideration prior to Nov. 1.
A good place to work through your issues is at your local Association's October meeting, if they have one. This is where appointments to the annual meeting should be made and confirmed. If you don't like what your Association is doing for masters, get elected Masters Chair and work through the issues. This is how you have influence on how your organization is run.
I believe that we exist to provide safe, competitive opportunities for our athletes. I hope we see and hear from more of you. You can give us your input anytime. Also, please understand that writing a letter to the editor of National Masters News is an indirect communication to us, although we monitor those views carefully as well.
We look forward to great annual meeting this year.