Reno report: Masters chair Gary Snyder to launch a blog
Gary Snyder, elected to a four-year term as USATF Masters T&F chairman, says he’ll start keeping a blog sometime in January. This is huge. Although Gary and previous national chairs have been reachable by email and have written columns for National Masters News, this new means of communication takes openness to a new level. Gary joins USATF CEO Doug Logan in accepting public comments. (Logan’s blog only recently added a feedback function.) The Masters T&F Executive Committee also is making progress in pursuit of a stand-alone, separate USATF Masters Web site — which we’ve been seeking for years. The current masters section of usatf.org is weak, hidden and lacking lots of information.
Bob Weiner reported results of a closed portion of yesterday’s Masters T&F Executive Committee meeting:
E-com authorized this statement following today’s meeting just concluded: “The Executive Committee is very supportive of the Masters Track and Field website development through the efforts of Dave Clingan and details are being worked out.”
The exec committee earlier approved a 2009 budget (which I’ll post eventually) that allocates $4,500 for the new masters Web site.
But back to Gary’s blog.
Gary says he’ll use it as a way of answering questions about the program. This is a great opportunity for the grass roots to reach the top of the food chain. Better yet, if the blog is set up properly, Gary’s replies will be archived and searchable. But the best part is that Gary will go on the record about issues of concern to y’all. Suggest you take advantage of it. I’ll report the Web address when I learn it.
After two years as chair, Gary got a little introspective in his closing comments to the open MT&F session, saying he had no hesitation to stay on four another four years.
“I’m having a good time doing this,” he told an audience of about 45. “I think there’s going to be a number of changes (imposed by USATF restructuring and a new board of directors). But he added, optimistically: “We have a more solid financial position than we had a year ago.”
That was a reference to a budget deficit of about $18,000 after Andy Martin of the national USATF office failed to give the masters $20,000 it was owed. Some deal has been arranged in the past few days to let masters have access to that extra money — part of the windfall accrued when annual membership fees were raised a couple years ago. But they money has to go to a specific class of programs (grass roots). Not just anything.
Gary also pledged to do his part in growing the masters ranks by speaking to community groups where older adults congregate — especially folks who work out.
“We’re going to ask you to go to the YMCA and have a chat (with fit members),” Gary said. “You need to have a little courage to do these things” — talk to groups about masters track. “I want you to try it this (coming) year, and next year it’ll be like an AA meeting (at the USATF convention),” where people share their experiences.
To help masters leaders present the program to novices, a DVD is being prepared that can be shown to groups. Gary promised it won’t focus on our sport’s superstars (which can intimidate potential masters athletes). It’ll show that anyone can do track.