USATF Masters Inclusion Subcommittee explained: Q&A with chair

George does a bunch of events.

Some have noted a new group in the masters universe — the USATF Masters Inclusion Subcommittee. But it’s not really new, having succeeded the Masters Diversity Committee. No matter the name, its mission is still a mystery to many. So I sent questions to its chair, George Melichar. He graciously replied Wednesday. “I work in hospitality and I live in the New Orleans, French Quarter,” he wrote. On, he has marks from 400 to 10K at nationals, plus throws (even the super weight) and long jump. At the Ohio annual meeting, he filed this report. Back in 2014, he was profiled on a gay sports website (when he sported a Mohawk haircut). He said: “I have been out since I was 18 years of age. It is important that I run in the Gay Games 9 marathon because I am George Melichar and I have nothing to hide or be ashamed of. I want my friends and fans to feel equally the same pride in themselves as I do in myself. We are all as one in the journey of life.”

Here’s my quickie Q&A: How did you land the gig?

George Melichar: The USATF Masters board changed the name of the Diversity Subcommittee to Inclusion Subcommittee in 2016. I applied for the four-year volunteer position and I went through the interview process. I was unanimously elected by the masters board for the position.

What’s the committee’s goal? What progress is it making, and how is success measured?

Since day one the USATF Masters Inclusion Subcommittee has sought to find ways to excite masters sports participation nationally for all athletes to include a diversity of experience, expertise and perspectives.

In 2018, the subcommittee will have a booth at select events nationally to introduce prospective athletes to USATF Masters events. Current T&F athletes will be able to discover USATF Masters events and ask questions.

I would view 2018 to be a successful year by being a publicly visible subcommittee, having a social media presence people enjoy, provide athletic event information to athletes and to cheer for athletes at there first USATF Masters events. 2018 is a building opportunity into 2019 athletic participation and visibility for USATF Masters events.

If getting more gay and trans athletes involved is a goal, how are you marketing masters?

The vision of the USATF Masters Inclusion subcommittee since I applied is to create a safe and fair athletic environment for all athletes that fosters a diversity of experience, expertise, and perspectives.

I never singled out LGBT or Transgender athletes. Everything goes through the Inclusion Subcommittee, the USATF Master Social Media and the USATF marketing department before it goes public. I do not have the ability to solely market the USATF brand.

What’s your own coming out story?  When did you get involved with masters track?

I don’t have a specific “coming out story”… I’ve always just been George. My involvement with masters sports began when I turned 30.

Anything else my readers should know about you and your committee?

Please say hello and introduce yourself to me if you see me at an athletic event.

Print Friendly

December 13, 2017

5 Responses

  1. Emma McGowan - December 14, 2017

    So proud of my friend George.
    He is a great person.
    We met and talked for the first time last indoor track and became very good friend.
    Like George said please tell him Hello and introduce yourself when you see George.

  2. Alan Kolling - December 14, 2017

    As George notes, the Masters Inclusion subcommittee focuses on more than just the needs of LGBT athletes, and is clearly intended to. George is a valued member of USATF’s Diversity & Leadership Development committee which I chair, and has already contributed some unique perspectives to our discussions. USATF MaT&F is lucky to have someone of his energy and enthusiasm in the position.

    As the old saying goes, You can’t judge a book by its cover. In George’s case, I definitely suggest you don’t.

  3. sandyT - December 15, 2017

    George has great passion for Masters Track and Field and helping others to learn about this amazing sport. I look forward to seeing the results of his sub-committees efforts in 2018!

  4. Giampiero M. - December 22, 2017

    We are proud to have George as a member of our club in Marseille, France. We miss you George. See you in Paris 2018 !

  5. George Melichar - December 24, 2017

    Thank You for supporting #MastersAthletes! The USATF Masters Inclusion Subcommittee seeks to find ways to excite masters sports participation nationally for all athletes to include a diversity of experience, expertise and perspectives. For more information about #USATFMastersTrack: or email me at #StrengthInDiversity

Leave a Reply