Letter from SD-I Youth Chair

3/31/2020
 

Youth Chair Update – COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
March 31, 2020
 
The new decade has brought about an unusual situation that has impacted each and every one of  us.  On March 13th, I announced through an email sent by our Secretary that our first two meets (Run, J ump, Throw) of  the season scheduled for March 21st and 28th were postponed due to the virus.  On March 19th, the Association President through an email sent by the Communications Chair stated “…all upcoming USATF San Diego events will be cancelled until further notice.”  It was hoped at that time more definitive information would be available after government imposed restrictions were re-evaluated.  On March 29th, President Trump announced current “social distancing” measures would extend to April 30th.  Prior to the President’s remarks, a number of local school districts announced moving towards on-line learning with schools remaining closed.

Given the continued closures of schools, and social distancing measures, it has become necessary to officially cancel the Run, Jump, Throw Meets.  Meets scheduled for April 4th (Change the Game), April 11th (San Diego Road Runners) April 18-19th, (Flo Jo International) and April 25th (M.L.K. Blasters) are all cancelled.   Prior to this communication both Flo Jo and the Road Runners had cancelled their meets on March 20th and 29th respectfully.  In speaking yesterday with Coach Ford of Mercury San Diego, in all probability, their meet scheduled for May 2-3 will also be cancelled.  Therefore, the only two meets left on the 2020 schedule before the scheduled Association Junior Olympic Championships would be May 9th (USA Rockets) and May 17th (Havoc).  Those meets are also in jeopardy.

In regard to the Junior Olympic Championships, I have been in contact with our Regional Coordinator and my Southern California Association counterpart as well as monitoring email from the National office and youth leaders about the season.  A significant portion of our season has or will be lost depriving our athletes, coaches and parents of the rich experience that track and field provides.  The National Youth Executive Committee (YEC) has assigned a Junior Olympic Taskforce to make recommendations to the YEC.  The YEC is next scheduled to meet on Wednesday, April 1st at Noon with the Taskforce meeting the following day.  As a result of this heath crisis, the National Youth Chair noted the following in her March 26th email to the YEC:
  • Junior Olympic Program status: Still too early to make any determinations. National Office should be prepared to give an update in a week or so. Associations should continue to follow the recommendations of their local health authorities and notify me, Carolyn and Quentin if Junior Olympic Associations meets cannot be conducted as scheduled.
  • Elite Athlete & Members Assistance: Right now, there is no a specific platform to make donations to elite athletes and members impacted by COVID-19. USATF did recently announce collaborating with the USATF Foundation for an equipment stipend. More at https://www.usatf.org/news/2020/usatf-news-notes-march-24-2020. Max shared that the National Office has received requests to assist during this crisis and are researching how to implement.
  • Reimbursements: Although working remotely, USATF will still process reimbursements as normal. Junior Olympic Madison reimbursements were mailed last week and several have already received. They’ll continue to submit reimbursements.
  • Membership & Member Rates:
    • As expected, memberships are down with the uncertainty of competition. As of Tuesday, adult memberships were at 72% of where they would normally be at this time of year, and youth membership at only 42%.
    • The existing plan to increase the membership price on May 1st is still being evaluated.
    • Clubs and members are still encouraged to purchase their memberships as normal. Membership dues contribute to programmatic and organizational budgets. Membership numbers also show our value to existing partners and sponsors. It is important we unify during this downtime to ensure we can rebound with as little damage as possible.
    • No determination yet on membership refunds if youth and Junior Olympic program track program cancelled for 2020.
  • Olympic Games: Tokyo Games have been postponed to 2021. USATF sent a letter to USOPC encouraging postponement.
  • National Office Availability: While many are working remotely, the office is still conducting business as usual.  Reach out to your liaisons and normal contacts with any questions.  
  • Other:
    •  USATF Connect, the new Association websites and email systems and are still on schedule as planned.
    • Discussions on Annual Meeting and if it will be impacted. Norm and National Office are visiting bylaws to see what options are available especially consider all elections that are to be held.
Finally, as concrete information becomes available it will be shared with the Youth Committee Membership.  During these trying times for our local communities, state, nation and sport, be encouraged the ill effects of this health crisis will pass over.  I look forward to the day that we can once again participate in the sport dear to our hearts.  In the meantime stay safe, stay healthy and stay wise.
 
Michael Adkins, Youth Chair, San Diego-Imperial Association

Chair's letter