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A Busy Second Half

November 2005
George Mathews

Many of us are still trying to catch our breath after the great competitive season we have had. Lots of traveling, and, in some cases, touring. Twenty-three days in Spain and Portugal almost did me in. Hopefully, most had good experiences with our USATF Championships in Hawaii and the Worlds in Spain.
Competition
As always, there were lessons to be learned. In some cases, the hard way, and I am sorry for those for whom this was the case.
Some athletes discovered that in international competition, when USATF has no control, many things dont go according to plan. No matter how hard you try, as in the case of WMA, the LOCs can be hard to control at show time. This was certainly true in San Sebastian.
Below are listed some of the biggest lessons to keep in mind for future meets:
Get there early! Not only for competitive reasons, but for understanding the process logistics. Things can change on an hourly basis. In some cases declarations are the day before, in other cases, the day of competition.
Sometimes declarations are at a different venue than the competition. Athletes need to know that obtaining credentials and declaration are not the same thing. Check-in times change. Language can be a problem.
Having the weights and measures room closed from 12-5 may have seemed crazy to us, but thats the way they chose to do it. Our team managers try hard to be on top of things, but even they cannot know everything. Make sure to attend the team meetings every day. Check our information board every day.
Work the event Web site diligently for clear understanding of the process.
Accommodations for Linz, Austria, should have been made by the end of October at www.linz2006.com. They have some strong incentives for meeting this deadline. You can follow up with your entry form through www.usatf.org by the Jan. 10, 2006, deadline.
Games Committee
I have regretfully accepted the resignation of Sandy Pashkin as Chair of our Games Committee. Sandy has served tirelessly in this position since its inception. The Games Committee is one of the most important committees we have. Thank you, Sandy, for your great work.
I am happy, however, to report the appointment of Jim Flanik as the new Games Committee Chair, and Carroll DeWeese as Committee Vice-chair. Both have worked with our committee for a long time and will surely help increase the degree of satisfaction our athletes experience in future championship meets.
I have added a vice-chair to this committee to help in the administration, which has become more than one person can handle.
Annual Meeting
This year, the USATF Annual Meeting is in Jacksonville, Fla., from Nov. 30 - Dec. 4. This is a very important meeting, where we accomplish a major part of business for the year. I would encourage all members to attend. If that is not possible, be sure to let your Masters Association Delegates to the meeting know how feel about various topics which are important to you.
Major issues this year include membership fee increases and possible restructuring of the Board of Directors, which could exclude a specific member from Masters Track & Field.
Your Executive Committee has been working hard on membership and has recommended a $10 increase, which we want passed through directly to the Masters Track & Field Committee. Our strategic plan has concluded that this is the only sure way we will be able to step up to the next level of growth and member satisfaction.
If the USATF organization as a whole does not want the increase, then we would support the increase for just Masters Track & Field.
One topic that will be on the agenda will be club scoring. We are looking for someone to head a subcommittee to make recommendations to the Masters Committee at the Annual Meeting. The Masters T&F meeting schedule is on this page and will also be updated on the USATF Web site.
Strategic Plan
The Masters Executive Committee met for a whole day in Hawaii, working on the second part of the Strategic Plan. We will have that available in next months issue of NMN and on the USATF Web site soon.
Among the major tasks I have been assigned is the appointment of several new subcommittee chairs. I am looking for people to step up to lead in the following areas:
National Volunteers Coordinator
Mini and Specialty Meet Facilitator
Masters Track & Field Club Advocate
Web Site Liaison with National Office
Masters T&F Fundraising Committee
Hall of Fame Facility
Those who have already stepped up include:
Meet Manual (up to the regional level) Becky Sisley
Grants Jim O'Neill
Masters T&F Facilities Data Base Suzy Hess and Jerry Wojcik
Please make a big contribution to your sport with your time and talent.

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