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April 24, 2008, 12 a.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 24 2008) USA Triathlon and its Board of Directors have announced the formation of a Strategic Planning Committee that will help guide the organization through the next five years and beyond.

“USAT faces a number of challenges in the next few years,” said USAT Board Member and Strategic Planning Committee Chair Eric Averill. “As we address these challenges, we will be seeking the opinions and attitudes of our ‘stakeholders’ throughout the summer and will be gathering information from all our constituencies.”

The Board of Directors has framed five issues they believe are the most important to address.

* Enhance Membership Value – To institute programs and initiatives that allow USAT to become the foremost provider of information and resources to all people engaged in multisport; athletes, officials, race directors, volunteers, coaches, sponsors, and community partners; to implement outreach to diverse population groups.

*Establish Environmental Sustainability/ Race Venue Preservation* -- To form successful partnerships with corporations, governments, sports organizations, and environmental groups in order to preserve the planet; to “green” our sport and to reach out to communities.

*Bridge the International Gap* -- To forge new and lasting relationships with ITU, WTC, Xterra and other multisport organizations in order to collaborate on a global rulebook. Perform educational outreach to underdeveloped countries and under privileged people of all nations.

*Establish Modern Technologic Capability* -- Analyze weaknesses, research and locate viable alternatives which can sustain growth during the next five or more years. Reengineer our web site to allow individual customized access.

*Re-structure Governance towards a more streamlined, constituency-based, stable entity which can manage bottom-up relationships. Involve outside expertise.

The Strategic Planning Committee will create a strategic plan to help guide USAT through these five challenges, but the plan will not be limited to these areas.

The Committee plans to draft an initial document at its June meeting in Des Moines, Iowa. The document will then be reviewed by the National Board, presented to the membership on the USAT website, and voted upon at a meeting in September in Portland, Ore.

In order to gather accurate information from its constituencies, USAT has designed an online strategic planning survey that is available until midnight Mountain Time on May 8, 2008. Complete the survey.

USA Triathlon will be offering 10 annual memberships ($39 value) through a random drawing of survey participants. A final grand prize of USAT merchandise will be awarded when the survey closes.

For more information contact Eric Averill, Strategic Planning Committee Chair.