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Observations on Our Annual Meeting

January 2004
George Mathews

I would like to thank all those delegates who gave of their time and expense to participate in our 25th Annual Meeting in Greensboro, North Carolina.

This years meeting was overseen by our very able and astute Parliamentarian (among other duties) Phil Byrne. Phil did an excellent job of keeping us on track and making sure that everyone's rights were considered.

The Masters Committee voted against national clubs and was in favor of the rule that allows athletes to transfer between associations. Hopefully, athletes will understand the importance of our grass roots approach to trying to build the strength of the local association club. I believe one of the significant building blocks of our future is the local club. It is the replacement of our past school identities that many of us competed for with passion.

The Committee's direction to continue club scoring at our national championships on a demonstration basis and their direction for me to submit a rule submission next year for club scoring to become official is a step in the right direction.

Congratulations to Boston for being awarded our 2006 Indoor National Championships. We are very lucky to have such a competent local organizing committee for this championship.

Congratulations to Fort Collins, Colo., for winning the right to represent the U.S. in the bidding to hold the NNC-WMA Regional Championships in 2006. I can't imagine a better bid although we need to thank Clermont, Fla., for their fine bid as well.

The Committee reaffirmed that our delegates to WMA assembles will honor a consensus voting policy. We certainly look better to the world when we agree on positions.

Also, the committee voted a separate set of delegates for the WMA World Indoor Championships in Sindelfingen, Germany, and the NCCWMA Regional Championships, Dorado, Puerto Rico. This was done since different people would probably be going to each meet and we wanted to make sure that the delegates had time to prepare for the important business at these meets.

Since the Sindelfingen assembly is to select the 2006 Indoor Championships the Long Distance Running Committee has agreed that all five delegates will come from the Masters Track and Field Committee. Thank you, LDR Committee, for your support.

The joint Masters T&F-LDR Committees voted to include a team uniform (top) in the entry fee for future World Championships beginning with San Sebastian. There will be some choices envisioned at this time: T-shirt, singlet and women's top. Suzy Hess will head up a uniform committee.

Speaking of Sandy Pashkin. We have so much to thank her for. What a great job she has done for us as team manager. Thanks to her for all she has done. Sandy decided to step down from the team manager position to devote her energies to other challenges. The executive committee elected her able assistant, Phil Greenwald. Congratulations to Phil. We look forward to working with him.

Also thanks to Sandy and her Games Committee for the great job they have done over the years. It's reassuring to know that they are at our National Championships helping make sure that things run smoothly.

If that's not enough, Sandy has volunteered to take over the Records Committee from legend Pete Mundle. Pete has done this important job since 1970. It's hard to give enough praise for the tremendous job this gentleman has done for us. He is truly an immortal figure in the masters movement. Pete will continue to do the single age records which are not officially part of USATF.

By singling out these people I want to make sure that this by no means minimizes all the effort by other people who have worked tirelessly to make 2003 a great year.

Other really significant happenings include the appointment of Bob Weiner as chair of our newly formed Media Sub-Committee. We are really lucky to have such a high-powered professional working with our National Headquarters, Local Organizing Committees and athletes in publicizing USATF Masters Track and Field.

Thanks to Dave Clingan and Larry Patz for the great job they have done in the development of our rankings. I can't say enough about how I appreciate their hard work and willingness to help in our getting more meets sanctioned. The power of the rankings will be a significant help in this quest.

There were many other important matters covered that I will leave to National Masters News and the minutes to cover.

Again, Thank all of you. Happy Holidays and great success in the coming year.

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