by Al Myers
2010 is now behind us – and it’s time to start looking forward to All-Round Weightlifting in 2011. I want to thank everyone who already sent in their 2011 USAWA memberships. Sixteen of the most “die-hard” USAWA members have their memberships in so they can have the “January 1st” designation beside their name on the USAWA membership roster. Memberships in the USAWA run for the calendar year, so you might as well join early because there is not a discount for waiting. 2010 was a “decent” year for memberships – the last count yielded 61 USAWA members. Pretty much what it has been for the past several years. Not the highest, but not the lowest either. I know we have our critics who say our organization might as well “hang up our lifting shoes” and “throw in the towel”. I disagree. We haven’t been over 100 members since the year 2000 – when we topped at 122 members. The USAWA has NEVER had over 200 members a year. So we are far from being “down for the count”. I want to mention just a few of the exciting highlights that have happened in the USAWA in the year 2010 that SHOW the USAWA is very much alive!
1. USAWA Club Membership hit an ALL-TIME high with 11 registered clubs.
2. 21 sanctioned competitions were held – the 2nd most of ALL-TIME.
3. The first Club Challenge was held, hosted by the Ambridge BBC – marking the BEGINNING of a new signature USAWA competition.
4. Chad Ullom won the BEST OVERALL LIFTER at the IAWA World Championships - making him only the 6th USAWA member of ALL-TIME to ever do this.
5. The USAWA Awards Program was created, which recognizes outstanding accomplishments amongst the USAWA lifters throughout the year.
6. The membership approved new USAWA bylaws which outline (for the first time) how our organization operates.
7. We seen record growth in our USAWA Officials Program, which now has 32 USAWA Certified Officials.
8. Scott Schmidt was inducted into the USAWA Hall of Fame, which marked the RETURN of the USAWA Hall of Fame Program that was inactive for close to 10 years.
9. 561 USAWA Records were set – the 5th highest in a year in our history.
10 . Our USAWA website now averages over 250 “hits” per day – and is GROWING!
Those are just 10 things that quickly came to my mind from 2010. It sure doesn’t sound like we are a dying organization to me? Next year I would like to see us over 100 members again. My opinion is that we don’t have to have a thousand members, or 10,000 members, to be successful. But because memberships is our only form of income for our organization, we do need at least 100 members to be able to finance the general overhead expenses, our Awards Program, and our Drug Testing Program. Also, we need at least that many members to insure that we have enough competitors at our big competitions so the Meet Directors won’t lose a ton of money.
2010 was a great year for the USAWA! I am very optimistic that the next year will be even better!!