July 2020 Newsletter

Happy Summer Skimo Friends!

We hope you all are enjoying the summer and getting outside to enjoy the warmer weather. The summer is a busy time for the USSMA with many initiatives being worked and a lot of planning. The very noticeable elephant in the room is of course COVID19. While we recognize there will likely be impacts to the upcoming season, we have continued to plan for a normal season along with possible contingency plans. As we know more and get closer to the season, we’ll provide more updates.

Below are a number of updates from some of the many volunteer committees working to improve the USSMA and grow the sport.

Nominating and Governance:
The annual board meeting was held at the beginning of this month. The N&G Committee has confirmed all board members that had terms ending, in June, have renewed their positions for another four year term. We would also like to announce the addition of a new board member, Kerry Hanes. Kerry has been assisting the USSMA for years as the national team gear technician, Chair of the YOG Committee, and now the Co-Chair of the Development & Fundraising Committee. We’re pleased to have Kerry on the board!

Development and Fundraising:
The Development & Fundraising Committee distributed a draft Financial Strategy Plan to USSMA directors and committees for input. The two main objectives of the plan are first to create a USSMA process for planning 5-10-years of financial needs to fulfill the USSMA Strategic Plan, and second to plan donor and sponsor recruitment leading to income. The committee’s vision is to create an endowment for development of the sport.

From your Treasurer: I am happy to report that the pandemic’s financial impact on us is fairly minimal thus far since we have no paid employees or any other fixed ongoing expenses. For the upcoming fiscal year, we face potential uncertainty in sponsorships and donations, but that is dwarfed by the even greater uncertainty as to what the race season might look like. Fortunately, we have enough of a checking account balance to see us through even a worst-case race season that somehow continues our expenses while diminishing our revenues.

USSMA Membership:
With the 20/21 season fast approaching, the Membership Committee would like to remind anyone who signed up for auto-renewal last season that their USSMA membership will be automatically be renewed on October 1st. If you would like to change your status, you can login to your Active.com account before October 1st. Email katie@ussma.org if you have any questions. Being a member comes with some great benefits – stay tuned for 20/21 updates.

The Marketing committee is scheming up ways to make your race experience better with some USSMA schwag. We are re working our social media campaigns to be more interactive with you this season! We are also hope to bring you race alerts to help remind you when races are coming up. While there has been very little racing this summer for anyone, we hope you have all been getting out to play in the mountains or compete safely in your own way! If you have competed in a virtual race that you enjoyed, let us know by sending us a message on Instagram or Facebook and tell us about it!

Sport and Performance:
The S&P committee has been working over the last three months on the framework for the selection process and expectations of the national team, including the selection criteria for the participants at the World Championships. The committee is also beginning work on a youth program and coaching development framework that the USSMA can use to support and grow these programs around the country.

Regarding COVID-19, the Medical Committee is monitoring the evolving USOPC and NCAA guidelines for safe return to training and competition. Anti-doping educational resources are being compiled and will be available for athletes, coaches, and health care providers in advance of the National Championships and World Championships. We have also been assisting the board’s effort to draft a USSMA transgender athlete policy. Finally, we are working on creating a formal USSMA medical program.

Race Committee:
The Race Committee is working with Race Directors and Venue hosts with the assistance from the Medical Committee to develop a strategy to host races for the 20/21 season. Our goal is to be able to host races this season in a manner that is safe for everyone. Achieving this goal will not be possible without all athletes adhering to some new requirements. Email jerimy@ussma.org if you want to be involved in this planning.

USSMA National Team & World Championship Team Selections:

The USSMA has decided to take on a new direction when it comes to selecting a US National Team for the next two upcoming seasons. We are shifting to create a “broader” US National Team, from which a sub section of racers will qualify to represent the US at the 2021 World Championships. The two, US National Team and USA SKIMO World Championships Team have similar but also different goals and objectives.

ISMF World Championships, Andorra/Spain: Feb 26 – March 3, 2021:
Races will include an Individual, Vertical, Sprint, and Relay. Because the Long Distance World Championships (Pierra Menta teams race) is the following week, the normal world championships will not include a teams race.

ISMF Long Distance World Championships, France: March 10 – 13, 2021:
There will be two race divisions, one for national team pairings competing for the World Championship, and one for an ‘open’ division. US National Team members will have the opportunity to compete in the world champs division and other athletes in the open division. If you wish to participate in the Pierra Menta, please email info@ussma.org for more information.

Masters World Championships, France: Feb 11 – 13, 2021:
The Masters World Championship will include O30, O35, O40, O45, O50, O55. An ISMF license will be required, but being on the US National Team is not. If you wish to participate, please email info@ussma.org for more information.

Athlete Advisory Committee:
Dear Fellow Skimo Athletes: THANK YOU!
We sincerely hope you are staying active and healthy during these unprecedented times. Even though our race season was cut short and the next one might seem too far away with too many unknowns, the Athlete Advisory Council (AAC) and USSMA are continuing to work and prepare for the next, even better, season.

We wanted to THANK to those current and past members who took the time to fill out our USSMA Annual Survey. We have received over 100 responses and are working hard to extract information to help us understand how you participate in skimo racing, your experiences, motivations and all other critical information to help us steer the direction of the sport in the United States. We will make sure to share important findings with the appropriate USSMA Committees.

The AAC is seeking nominations for an open Committee position. If you have interest and would like to join our organization please submit your “intention” to AAC@ussma.org. You can find more about us here.

Thank you for your time and consideration to help us become stronger organization

Jaime, Michela, Milan and Patrick