Director s Chair by Rich Bender 2002 Financial update for USA Wrestling

By Rich Bender | Jan. 10, 2003, 12 a.m. (ET)
USA Wrestling's Finance Committee recently reviewed and approved the audited financial statements for the fiscal year of September 1, 2001 to August 31, 2002. The highlights of the audited statements and the operational highlights of the fiscal year are as follows: The 12 months ended August 31 showed an increase in net assets of $575,948. This included total support and revenue of $5,836,315 and total expenses of $5,260,367. Internal financial statements reflect that the increase in net assets exceeded the budgeted revenues over expenditures of $307,341 for the fiscal year. Other highlights include: * The fiscal year saw the successful licensing of the Merchandising Department to an outside company, increasing the guaranteed revenue stream for this area and reducing the overhead and inventory carrying costs of the organization. * USA Wrestling paid off all long-term and short-term bank loans during the fiscal year. * The 12 months ended August 31 saw a 2% growth in athlete memberships. During the 2001-02 membership year, USA Wrestling established records for athletes, coaches, officials, clubs and sanctioned events. *USA Wrestling continued to be a power on the international wrestling scene, winning medals at the World Championships and many other major international competitions in men's freestyle, women's freestyle and men's Greco-Roman wrestling. * The granting of the 2003 Freestyle and Women's Freestyle World Championships to NYC2012 was a boost to our sport in the United States. After the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks caused the cancellation of the 2001 World Championships, which had been scheduled for New York City in late September 2001, the organization worked with FILA to get the World Championships for New York in calendar year 2003. I feel that Fiscal Year 2002 was a success both operationally and financially. With the corporate scandals the nation has witnessed in the past year, I would like to take this opportunity to assure our members that the financial policies and procedures of USA Wrestling, as reviewed annually by our independent auditor, are set up to ensure the integrity of the numbers reported in our financial statements. Our financial statements are prepared in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) rules. Our Finance Committee, consisting of the organization's Treasurer and six elected members (of which four plus the Treasurer also serve on the Board of Directors), meets frequently to review the internal financial statements and supporting financial information for each month. USA Wrestling believes in transparency and full disclosure regarding the organization's financial information. If you have any questions regarding USA Wrestling's finances, please feel free to contact me, or to contact Dwaine Cooper, the Associate Executive Director for Administration. Treasurer Van Stokes or any Finance Committee member would also be happy to answer any questions you have. I would like to thank those people most responsible for the continued success of the organization: the Board of Directors, the State Chairpersons, the many dedicated volunteers across the country, our sponsors, and the staff of USA Wrestling. I am proud to serve this successful organization as its Executive Director. In addition to the positive report on USA Wrestling's financial situation, there is also substantial good news about the growth of wrestling among young people. Within America's youth wrestling community, we have more wrestlers on the mats, more coaches in the gym, more officials working bouts, more clubs running practices and more events available to youth than any time in history. The National Federation of State High School Associations continues to report strong growth for wrestling on the high school level. Last year, there was an increase in boys wrestling teams, girls wrestling athletes and overall high school wrestlers from the previous year. We now have 248,042 high school wrestling athletes in the United States. Wrestling is now the No. 6 sport on the high school level for boys participants and the No. 8 sport for boys teams. We are seeing new wrestling programs in schools all across the nation. For the last 10 years, the number of boys wrestling teams has grown, a tremendous trend that we can be proud of. Wrestling is facing many challenges as we move into the new century. We have an obligation to work hard to protect and enhance our sport at all levels. However, we also must recognize the good news about wrestling's health in youth programs and its growth in high schools as we build the sport. Working together, we can make next year even better than this year was.