BC Athletics

Athletics Canada BRANCH MEETING

The Branch meeting of the Provincial Associations met on December 4, 2004 at the Semi-Annual General Meeting held in Toronto, Ontario.

There was a request for specific dates to be sent out for the implementation of CBET. Monthly updates were suggested so that the branches could commence planning the training of coaches. We were informed that in March/April of 2005 course conductors in the RJT program were to be trained in Winnipeg and Regina.

There was concern that the competitive stream was not ready to be implemented yet. The RJT program has been successfully delivered to schools in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and New Brunswick while Quebec has hired someone for January 2005 and Ontario will add RJT this summer.

We were informed that the National Sponsors should get preference over local sponsors especially at National Events.

The Run Canada committee sent out surveys across the country in order to try and establish the various provincial guidelines for sanctioning races. It appears that there is a problem with sanctioning road races. Road races are being conducted by charity organizations and running stores and are for the most part non-sanctioned. Cross-country and track and field events appear to be sanctioned.

The Masters Committee of AC met with the CMAA in order to look at integration of the two groups. At present the CMAA runs Masters Athletics in Canada yet it is not a member of the national body.

There was discussion around trying to integrate the Paralympic organization within the Strategic Plan of AC. There appeared to be some resistance from the Paralympic committee to follow through with this proposal.

Athletics Canada is trying to set up a National Data Base. It was felt that this should be driven from the bottom up by individual clubs and provincial branches rather than loaded top down from AC.

It was generally felt that the Technical Congress was a success at the SAGM in that it brought together some of the top coaches in the country in very productive workshops. The main business of the organization would then take place at the AGM in June.

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ATHLETICS CANADA REPORT

The past year has seen steady progress on the part of the Athletics Canada towards achieving the goals set out in the Association's Strategic Plan.

On the financial side, the debt-reduction plan is moving ahead of target to see the Association debt free within the next two years. At the same time, the need to, on the one hand, maintain our existing corporate partner relationships and, on the other, to attract new corporate partners, is receiving special attention.

On the coaching development front, the pace of preparation and testing of the new elements required by the CBET program has been increased significantly under the leadership of both Alex Gardiner and Bruce Pirnie. In addition, with Kevin Tyler now in place as the Director of the Canadian Athletics Coaching Centre (CACC) in Edmonton, it is anticipated that it will begin offering programs in the area of coaching development later this year.

Administratively, the National Office has provided excellent service to all members of the Association under the continued strong joint leadership of Joanne Mortimore and Alex Gardiner. And, at its last meeting, the Board approved the establishment of the position of Director, Paralympics Programs, in line with the increasing focus upon that part of our athlete development initiatives.

Within that context, the Association engaged the services of Rose Mercier to conduct a nation-wide consultative process to examine our services to Paralympic athletes and to make recommendations on necessary improvements in such service delivery within the Strategic Plan.

At the Board level, there was great pleasure in welcoming, as our first Appointed Director, Marc Quessy, to our December meeting. Marc, a financial management consultant from Sherbrooke, Quebec, has the distinction of having competed internationally for Canada as both an able-bodied and an AWAD competitor. Under our revised Bylaws, another two Appointed Directors can be added to the Board.

At the Committee level, a new Masters Committee was approved at the AGM in May and six members, with myself as Chair, have since been appointed. The main purpose of this Committee is to work towards the integration of Branch Masters Committees with the CMAA, so that there is one regime for Masters athletes across the country rather than the split authority which exists at the present time. To this end, an inaugural meeting was held in Toronto, following the Cross Country Championships, between representatives of the CMAA and the members of this new Committee.

The Mission Statement of Athletics Canada is to provide leadership, development and competition that ensures world-level performance in Athletics. The first two elements have already been addressed. Let me, then, conclude this report by referring to the world-level performance of our Canadian athletes during 2004.

Olympic competition for both able-bodied and AWAD athletes was the focus for our senior team members and the results indicate that we are on line with our goals for both the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.

In Athens, Athletics provided 20% of all the competitors who took part ion the Games. 197 countries competed in our sport; competitors from 66 countries reached the finals of their events; and 44 countries had athletes proudly mounting the Olympic podium.

Although we were constrained to sending the smallest team (22 athletes compared to 33 in Sydney and 36 in Atlanta) , and although we have yet to match the two gold medals achieved in Atlanta, nevertheless our results showed the significant improvement we had hoped and planned for. 6 of our athletes placed in the Top 8 of their fields; 8 made it to the Top 12; and 10 were among the Top 16. Even more impressively, 18 of our team of 22 athletes (82%) finished in the top half of their events. Compare this with the 39% similar achievement level in Sydney and the 36% level of achievement in Atlanta. And, as a final indicator of the overall improvement in the quality of athletes' performance, our "weakest" placings, in face of the overall improvement in world wide athletic performance, were a 75th place in Atlanta, a 53rd place in Sydney, and a 31st place in Athens.

One month later, at the Paralympic Games, our athletes turned in an outstanding set of performances. From the team total of 40 athletes, 10 achieved gold medal podium status, 4 brought home silver, and 10 won bronze medals. Between them, our athletes recorded 59 Top 8 performances, 65 Top 12 finishes, and 74 finishes in the Top 16 of their various events. In the process, 6 World and 1 Paralympic Games records were set. And, in addition, Chantal Petitclerc, who won 5 of those gold medals, was also the winner of the special Wheelchair event which was staged during the Olympic Games themselves.

And, at the World Junior level, Mike Mason gave us a High Jump gold medal, while 4 other Canadian Junior athletes finished in the Top 8 of their various events.

From many points of view, it has been a good year for the Association. While there is still much to do, and much more to be accomplished, it is clear that the goals set out in the Athletics Canada Strategic Plan are being adhered to, and that the groundwork necessary to achieve results predicted for the Olympic years 2008 and 2012 is definitely in place.

Respectfully submitted,

Danny Daniels,
Vice Chair, Athletics Canada

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