November 1, 2019

Happy November Members,
 
Firstly, hope everyone had a fun Halloween and enjoyed plenty of pumpkin-themed fun over the last few days! We spent most of October still on a high from the amazing performances from Team USA at the Worlds, led by Kate Nye’s World Championship and Junior World Record, and silver medals for both Mattie Rogers and Jenny Arthur.  We also spent time reflecting on how we can best help these athletes, and their support teams and coaches in the run up to next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.
 
Speaking of which – we’re in the final stages of finalizing our Tokyo Strong activities in Tokyo, so if you are thinking of joining as a Tokyo Strong donor, it’s a good time to contact us especially as we come towards the end of the tax year. Reach out to me directly at phil.andrews@usaweightlifting.org
 
As we get to the end of the second 6-month qualifying period, Team USA competed in San Diego, San Marino and Switzerland this month with Taylor Turner, Keiser Witte, Jillian Seamon, Kaitlyn Cooper, Travis Cooper, Anthony DeCristofaro, Hayley Reichardt, Kristi Brewer, Kaija Bramwell, Taylor Stephens, Aria Bremner, Phoebe Ng and Lindsay Erisman all standing on the medal stand for Team USA at these Bronze and Silver Olympic Qualification events.
 
That allows us to begin to look forward to the year ahead as we plan an aggressive marketing budget in our goal to have more people try the barbell during the summer of 2020 than at any other time in history. This will take an effort from us all but with Team USA likely to be successful on the platform it is essential we take advantage of this unique opportunity to grow our sport, grow our clubs and the love of the barbell.
 
We have some exciting items in the works including a fundraising dinner in April at a top New York City location, 101 days out from the Olympic Games, a schools tour to promote our sport and raise the profile of our Olympians and a tour of cities around the US for Olympians after the Games.
 
All of those activities mean our budget for 2020 is very tight indeed, and we plan a loss for this coming year. We also took a loss in 2018, compounded by the collapse of the financial markets at the end of the year. We’ll publish our budget as we have for the last few years and shortly we’ll be posting our Q3 operational budget which shows us ahead for the year and I am pleased to say that at the time of writing that the investments have recovered and are now in the black. Another issue to be aware of for us in this area is if there is a recession in 2020, that will affect our investment returns. Our NGB has amongst the best reserves built up, but this is a year to use some of those reserves to give our athletes the best chance to succeed first and foremost, and attempt to win the support of the USOPC for the 2020-2024 quadrennial.
 
Speaking of 2024, we’ve identified a training site that the whole Olympic team will be using for Paris 2024, and are working towards annual camps for our top athletes at each of the senior, youth and junior age groups stating in late 2020. The idea is to get the athletes and their coaches used to Paris, the surroundings and the set up for the Paris Games.
 
Another big project in the works is the Barbell Administration and Results System (BARS) and its sister, the Club Management System (CMS). BARS replaces our current membership system, WebPoint, and will launch in two phases. The first of this will occur on December 16, so you will see a great deal of changes in the last two weeks of 2019. Phase 2 as well as the BARS-CMS system will launch in Q1 of 2020. This is a very large project to migrate our entire business IT operation to the new system and I want to recognize Brad Suchorski on our team who is spending considerable time and energy on managing that. As part of that transition, you will need to login and update your coach affiliation as well as if you are on a renewable membership type, you will need to update that too. We'll have more details for you in the coming weeks. 
 
2019 has seen significant policy changes and upgrades not only for us at USA Weightlifting but also those of the USOPC and US Center for SafeSport, another reminder is that to fall in line with the higher demands of the USOPC Background Check policy, that Background Checks will be moving to $35 per two years from 16 December. Regretfully there is no way to avoid this cost increase since this reflects the rates and levels agreed with NCSI in designing the policy. However, National, International and Senior International coaches will see the cost slightly reduced as we are including it the updated cost of membership for these coaches. Click here to learn more.
 
November brings the start of the new qualifying period for the Olympic Games with top prospects CJ Cummings, Alyssa Ritchey and Jenny Arthur traveling next week to Lima, Peru to compete in the IWF Grand Prix, in each case hoping to add a ROBI score and a participation to further their chances of being in Tokyo. It also brings the USOPC’s NGB Best Practices seminar hosted by our friends at Sports Anaheim and our Masters athletes will be in action up in Seattle at the Howard Cohen American Masters.
 
It's a busy end to the year, and it’s not stopping until we prove #itcanbedone in Tokyo.
 
As always, reach out with anything our team can help with!

 

Phil Andrews

Phil.andrews@usaweightlifting.org