Write On! Responses
I hope everyone understands that I read your input to the Write On! section of National Masters News every month with great interest. We need your input on our sport. I would recommend direct communication from readers either by e-mail or regular mail. We need to understand that the information contained in these monthly writings is more for public interest than for really getting something done by USATF Masters Track & Field.
In most cases, such communication has never been sent to me. Also, there isnt much I can do about the shortcomings of National Senior Games.
In many cases, Senior Games meets are sanctioned by our local USATF Associations. I would encourage athletes to request that local Senior Games and State Games organizers get USATF sanctions for their meets. That means they must follow the USATF Competition Rules. If they are not following the rules, I would suggest that the athlete bring the points to the meet officials and the meet organizer. If that doesnt work, please provide the association that gave the sanction with the appropriate information.
The USATF Competition Rules book is available from USATF in hard copy and electronically online at http://www.usatf.org.
Help Meet Organizers
We can help solve some of these problems by providing help to the organizers. We need to remember that this is all volunteer based. Sometimes when there arent enough volunteers, we have to pitch in and help as well as compete.
I sure hope the Senior Games arent conducted as Don Hudson wrote in the May issue. Why not have your club help run these meets? Its great to have lots of practice, but to get official credit for the hard work, you need a sanctioned meet. You can get a meet series sanction for almost the cost of a single-meet sanction.
I say to Michael Vaught (NMN, April 2005), Dont give up. Look at USATF meets. We follow the rules. We should have 57 local association championships, seven regional championships and two national track and field championships every year. If you dont have one in your area, contact your local association and ask to have one. They probably need your help. You can also contact your regional coordinators for help if your association isnt putting on a masters track & field championships meet.
Membership Increasing Slowly
To Francis Schiro (NMN, May 2005), I must tell you that our membership numbers have shown a small but steady increase over the last eight years. I am not happy with small increases, but we can only do so much as a volunteer organization with a very small budget. Our strategic plan is going to give us the direction we need to make track and field a most desirable option for people over 30 years of age.
In Schiros letter, I am not sure what far from vital means. I believe we are full of life and are providing the safe, competitive opportunities that our mission statement intends.
I dont think comparing USATF Masters Track & Field with The National Senior Games is a fair comparison.
I would ask that as members contribute to Write On!, besides relating a problem, they offer what they think may be a solution to the problem. We need volunteers to help volunteers.