Letter to Membership 29 March 2019
Dear Friends and Supporters of Weightlifting Tasmania
On 6 April, at the conclusion of Round 3 of the Presidents Cup at Crossfit Levitate, Weightlifting Tasmania will conduct its Annual General Meeting.
Weightlifting Tasmania Incorporated (WTI) is a state sport association and one of the eight organisations that makes up the Australian Weightlifting Federation (AWF). In 2018, Weightlifting Tasmania passed 100 members for the first time in its history. The participation of Tasmanians constituted over 6% of the total number of Australian Weightlifters despite the fact that Tasmania's population is just over 2% of the national population. There are now more athletes, more clubs, more coaches and more officials active in the sport of Weightlifting in Tasmania than ever. It is wonderful to see growth and development across the state and especially in the North-West.
I would like to take this opportunity to tell you about the work that Weightlifting Tasmania does to promote, develop and administer the sport.
The organisation of state-level competitions is a key task, and usually there are eight each year. Every competition requires the organisation of a venue, sessions of lifting, people to officiate, and awards to present. There is also some promotion involved to ensure athletes don’t miss deadlines for entry, the checking of fees paid, the requisition and maintenance of equipment, and the tabulation and uploading of results to the AWF database.
State-level competitions lead to the selection of representative teams, and also coaches and officials who will travel with the teams. This is where the majority of money collected by Weightlifting Tasmania is spent. The number of coaches funded to national events is controlled by WTI policy which can be viewed on the resources page of the WTI website. As in the case of the recent 2019 Masters Championships, the expense associated with funding coaches to national events is high. WTI has only your membership and competition entry fees from which to draw these funds. In recent years, it has been difficult to make travel and accommodation arrangements for representative teams as WTI struggles for human resources, as all work is carried out purely by volunteers. As a result, selected representatives have largely made their own arrangements and this is not a satisfactory outcome.
In some years Weightlifting Tasmania takes on the responsibility to host national events. In recent years, WTI has hosted the AWF U15/U17 in Launceston (2014), AWF Masters in Hobart (2016) and AWF Senior/Junior Championships in Hobart (2017). Organising such events requires the involvement of very many people and the undertaking of tasks over many months to ensure such important events are appropriately organised.
While the organisation of events and selection of teams are major responsibilities, there are other tasks that require frequent attention. As a member organisation of the AWF, Weightlifting Tasmania is required to maintain close communication with and contribute to the decisions made on a national level. Weightlifting Tasmania must always look to the future and invest time and energy in developing people to continue the sport as office bearers, coaches, referees, and other competition officials. This is a most important task. There are also policies to create, update and maintain. This seemingly tedious task, if not done well, often becomes the centre of disputes.
If all of the above work is not carried out, the state association can become defunct as happened in recent years in South Australia. If that happens, competitions cease to occur, participation goes backwards fast and the sport dies. So, to carry out this work, the sport needs people to come forward to give some time to help. For sure, many of you have, and will continue to assist as referees and helpers on the day of competitions. I thank you for this, please continue. But we also need to think about the myriad of tasks in between competitions. Yes, there is an elected Board of Directors, but tasks continue to fall too heavily on too few shoulders.
As President, I am calling for people to step forward. At this AGM I am hoping that we can fill the positions of Secretary and two non-Executive Directors. Please talk to me about these roles if you have an interest.
But further than this, I would like to think there would come a time when Weightlifting Tasmania would be able to increase its administrative capability by officially appointing the following people to the roles of:
· Minutes secretary
· Media coordinators
· Website contributors
· Social media managers
· Referee coordinator
· Annual awards coordinators
· Annual awards function coordinator
· Social events organisers
· Statisticians to publish results
· Government grants applications
· Delegate to the Commonwealth Games Australia
· Delegate to the Australian Olympic Council
· Fundraising committees
· Team managers
· Equipment managers
· Working party on policy development
· Working party on program development e.g. recruitment and training of children into the sport.
Some of these jobs get done on an ad hoc basis but too often work is disappointingly not carried out. With a little push, Weightlifting Tasmania, which already punches well above its weight, could become an exemplary force in Australian Weightlifting. If there is enough people with passion for the sport, the workload for any of us does not have to be overburdening. I would like to think that we can all enjoy more from our sport by taking it to the next level and find ourselves continually surprised by new developments, new participation levels, stronger teams, better competitions and fantastic events.
So, to remind everyone, the Annual General Meeting of Weightlifting Tasmania will take place at the conclusion of the next competition on 6 April at Crossfit Levitate. Please consider standing for election and please consider taking some administrative part in a growing sport in Tasmania.
Weightlifting Tasmania Inc.