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USA Pentathlon Statement to the Pentathlon Community

Feb. 08, 2009, 12 a.m. (ET)


Members of the Pentathlon Community


USA Pentathlon Board of Directors


Progress Report and Future Development

Since assuming the role as the Board of Directors in July 2008, the board has spent a considerable number of hours in a voluntary capacity working on the establishment of a brand new organization to govern and develop the sport of modern pentathlon in the United States into an organization that we can all be justifiably proud of.

There is understandable hunger for rapid change and we have made considerable advancements that everyone should be made aware of:

  • 501c3 tax exemption status submission
  • Begun the search for the Chief Executive Officer/Executive Director
  • Established a Conflict of Interest Policy and clarification of ethical procedures
  • Continuation of the by-laws clarification and enhancement process
  • Drafting and review of selection procedures
  • Development of the athlete schedule
  • Adoption and approval of High Performance Plan
  • Receipt of funding from USOC and media contracts
  • Olympic Training Center (OTC) residency
  • Coaching retention and residence at OTC
  • New relationship with Sports Partnership and USOC

Our activities have allowed us to stabilize the situation we found ourselves walking into.

It is our belief that there are fundamental principles we must hold ourselves to in order to serve all the athletes currently in the sport and wishing to come into this sport:

  • Control and oversight over coaching activities, athlete conduct, and board activities
  • Move from an culture of entitlement towards a performance based culture
  • Co-operative relationship within pentathlon community
  • Segregation of duties and internal controls over financial transactions using sound financial and budgetary principles
  • No room for vested interests and unethical relationships and behaviors
  • Good relationships with United States Olympic Committee / UIPM
  • Establishment of basic day-to-day functions - including membership development
  • A culture of documentation and consistency in its practices and functions
  • Recognition and oversight over conflict of interests
  • Good communications with the pentathlon community
This is not an exhaustive list but a pledge of that we will hold ourselves accountable but we will also demand accountability for those we deal with.

Specifically, we will be looking to implement the following:

1) Policies and Procedures for:

  • Financial expenditures and revenue receipt and recognition practices
  • Defined policies and established practices for the acceptance process of hosting a competition and camp that requires USAP support or sanction
  • Athlete selection criteria and code of conduct for athletes and coaches
  • Human resources development

2) Establishing core value and conduct for the board, coaches, and athletes:

  • Accountability:
    • Eliminate any sense of entitlement by Board, coaches, or athletes
  • Commitment to our mission not to ourselves:
    • A simple agenda: the mission statement
    • Bring everyone's experience to bear while leaving the past behind. Old grievances and differences have no place going forward
    • Full and complete cooperation from everyone
  • Respect:
    • Respect for fellow Board members, fellow athletes, and our partners the USOC and UIPM
    • Open and candid communication within the Board, with our athletes, coaches, and our partners
  • Board Code of Conduct that embodies:
    • Establishment of an internal Board review process
    • Full disclosure of other interests, associations and other potential issues
    • Adherence and support of the conflict of interests principles - real and perceived

3) Appointment of a Chief Executive Officer by April/ May 2009 with the following key qualities:

  • Lack of conflicts of interests
  • Establishment of good relationships with the USOC/UIPM
  • Fundraising, oversight, and management capabilities
4) Development of the Sport:
  • Establishment of effective Standing Committees with clear agendas, goals, and results
  • Increased profile
  • Recognition and development of new talent
  • Recognition of the achievement of athletes and coaches
  • Use of regional centers of excellence, including the OTC and other locations

5) Fund-raising:

  • Alternative and consistent fundraising methodologies
  • Development ethical and transparent fundraising mechanisms
  • Media marketing and sponsorship
  • Recognition of donors

6) Media and Communications:

  • Use of multiple strategies
  • Development and enhancement of our current resources
  • Appropriate responsiveness to community comments and improvement ideas

7) Coaching and Athlete performance:

  • Documented, tailored ,and specific coaching plans
  • Defined, measurable, and achievable metrics
  • Performance improvement plans when non-achievement occurs
  • Adhering to USOC / UIPM rules and regulations

Our pledge as a board is that we will listen, we will learn. While we cannot guarantee that everyone will get what they want, we will implement a new relationship and hold ourselves accountable to it. While we understand that your patience is not unlimited, we do ask for time to implement a structure of governance resulting in the athlete performances that we can all be proud of.

We will undergo considerable changes over the next few years. Ask questions, become informed. We hope you are as excited as we are and become a partner in our success!