USA-WSWS SafeSport Update
The water ski season is nearly upon us. Given the challenges everyone faced in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I know you are eager to get back on the water. Our headquarters office and each of our sports discipline organizations have been diligently working behind the scenes to plan safe events for our members in 2021.
Additionally, USA Water Ski & Wake Sports (USA-WSWS) is committed to providing a safe and positive environment for all members on and off the water and promoting an environment free from abuse and misconduct.
On February 14, 2018, the U.S. Senate signed into Federal Law, S534, the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017 . The bill imposes general requirements on youth-serving amateur athletic organizations which include prevention training for adult members who have regular contact with minor athletes.
Given the family nature of our sport, there are very few events that exclude children. Therefore, it was approved by the USA-WSWS Board of Directors on March 17, 2021 to require all USA-WSWS active members 18 years old and older to complete annual Safe Sport online training beginning in 2022. There is no cost for the training. USA-WSWS now joins 15 other USOPC National Governing Bodies (NGBs) that also require Safe Sport training for all members as a requirement for membership.
The goal of the training requirement is for USA-WSWS members to recognize and eliminate areas where potential abuse and misconduct could occur. We all have a role to play to ensure our members, especially our young ones, are safe. We are all part of the solution.
Although the requirement does not start until 2022, we are encouraging all USA-WSWS active members 18-years-old and older to take the SafeSport™ Core training now. To take the course for the first time, click on this link and enter access code: TVQQ-GZNL-SEBT-INS8.
Since Safe Sport works with all NGBs, any member who has already completed training for another USOPC affiliated sport (soccer, swimming, gymnastics, hockey, etc.), will have satisfied the initial requirement with USA-WSWS (although refresher training will still be required each year as explained below).
We will soon be rolling out a new membership system that has an enhanced Members Only dashboard with a direct connection to the Safe Sport database allowing you to manage/view your Safe Sport status.
As of today, 1,477 USA-WSWS members have already completed the SafeSport™ Core training. This training consists of a 60-minute course focused on safeguarding athletes from bullying; harassment; hazing; physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, and sexual misconduct. The SafeSport™ Core training is valid for one year and must be completed every four years. In the intervening three years, members must complete a 10-minute refresher course annually to remain compliant.
Beginning Jan. 1, 2022, if you have not completed the SafeSport™ Core training or required refresher course, your USA-WSWS membership status will appear as “inactive” in our system; and you will be unable to participate in sanctioned events or practices until the training is completed. New members and those renewing their membership will have 30 days upon registering to complete the training. Membership status during this period will appear as “pending” until the training is completed. If, after 30 days, training is not completed, membership status will become “inactive” and you will be unable to participate until training is completed.
By educating all members, we can provide a safe environment for all our participants. The U.S. Center for SafeSport was created to address the issue of abuse in sport. The Center is an independent organization that works with NGBs, including USA-WSWS, to enforce the Safe Sport Code and the Federal Safe Sport Act. The Center receives reports, conducts investigations, determines sanctions and informs NGBs of sanctions against any persons for violations of the Center’s Safe Sport Code. The Center employs specially trained personnel to conduct its investigations.
Since 2018, the Center has investigated a total of 7,209 cases among all NGBs, including 17 cases involving USA-WSWS members. There have been eight membership suspensions and two probations for violation of the Safe Sport code. Five cases currently remain open and are being investigated. View the USA-WSWS suspended member list.
For additional information, please check out the frequently asked questions about Safe Sport located on our website.
By taking the SafeSport™ training, you are joining a movement across all sports to support a new culture of athlete safety. Look for continued communication about Safe Sport via our website, e-newsletters and social media channels throughout the rest of this year.
Thank you for your membership and support of USA Water Ski & Wake Sports. If you have any questions regarding Safe Sport, please email email@example.com.
LOOKING BACK IN TIME - FAIRLAND RECREATION CLUB
As part of the "Skier Recognition Series", Dave Jarrett had an opportunity to sit down with Diane Herr Poff, the daughter of Jerry and Dick Herr, owner/operators of the Fairland Recreation Club near Fairland, Indiana. In this article, we're not focusing on a particular skier, but reviewing a significant contributor to Indiana's water ski community and, it's history.
In approximately 1960, Dick Herr and Lowell Haverstick partnered up to purchase the "borrow pit" that eventually became the Fairland Recreation Club. The lake had been created by the state highway department during construction of I-74 and extra dirt was needed for the overpass over the new Interstate. Lowell had the crane and did the initial digging/creation of the beach area and boat launch area. In the beginning, the amenities included the concession stand building, beach, and an ice cream truck. Not long after, Dick bought out his partner and began expanding the property over the years. Dick was a workaholic, according to daughter, Diane. He delivered a postal route early in the mornings, then headed for the lake to work the rest of the day. Dick took great pride in the property and was always grading the beach, painting and doing the maintenance associated with owning a business property. He also got his Family involved....wife Jerry did the bookwork while daughters Diane and Dawn were lifeguards, both also helping Dad with a variety of other jobs.
Over the years, the property was expanded to include a campgrounds on the Eastern section. Improvements came with miniature golf, batting cages, curved shade awnings from an old Frisch's restaurant, diving platforms, party building, boat carports, etc. As the amenities were expanded, so were the events; Triathlons, jet ski races, winter polar bear swims, and even winter "turkey shoots!"
Sadly, the popularity of the beach and the "swimming hole" diminished, probably due to the availability of inexpensive backyard above ground pools. Then, in 2002, construction of the Indiana Grand Casino began on the opposite quadrant of the I-74 interchange. During the construction of the casino, the water table was drained down for the construction of two lakes on the casino property. This resulted in the draining of Fairland Lake. It became a mud field and basically put the Fairland Recreation Club out of business. Lawsuits were filed and a jury trial resulted in a very insignificant settlement. A couple of years later an auction was held, many items were sold off and the property was eventually sold to an investor.
Luckily, the Fairland Ski Club got it's start and continued to operate through all of these years, with the exception of that 2002 season.
In the early 1960's, the Indianapolis Water Ski Club was skiing and holding tournaments at the Maywood Lake site on the Southwest side of Indianapolis. In the early 1970's, Rusty Carter Sr. and several other members leased the Fairland site and moved the Indianapolis Water Ski Club to Fairland. Some of these members names included John and Charlene Schofield with daughter Marla, Steve and Lynette Helton, Jerry Hickman, Buster Reed, Dan Custer, and Randy Sharkey. Much later came a different time and a new name.....Fairland Ski Club. This new Club operated for several decades at the Fairland site. Back in the day, different ski clubs competed with each other to hold the annual State Championships. It was financially very rewarding and the events sometimes spilled over into 3 day events. Fairland was a great place to host due to the amenities and beach for everyone to enjoy. The Indiana State Championships were held there in 1973, 1975, 1984, 1992 and, 1999 (50th anniversary). The site was also host to not only numerous IWSA "Spring Flings" over the years, but the Monday Night Ski League began there as well, with Mark Qualkinbush and MD Boats as sponsor. Some Monday nights entertained as many as 17 skiers that would show up for a set of instruction from Bill Roach and other members. The Monday Night Ski League produced several skiers still active in tournament circles today.
Unfortunately, in 2019, the owner informed the ski club that their annual lease would not be renewed.....an end of a water ski era at the property.
Dick and Jerry are no longer with us but many fond memories of the Fairland Recreation Club will linger forever.
Thanks to Diane Herr Poff and Mike Baker for photos.
FITNESS - 5 HABITS TO ADD TO YOUR POST-SKI ROUTINE
This article first appeared in the Winter 2021 issue of The Water Skier magazine, the official publication of USA Water Ski & Wake Sports.
By nature, slalom skiers are creatures of habit. For example, think of how many skiers will only put on their gloves in a certain order, will only hold the handle with a specific color on the left side, or will only wear a specific swimsuit because he or she skied a personal best in it at some point.
Although you can argue that those behaviors can be beneficial for slalom skiing, as an athlete, I believe it is also important to consider the recovery habits you practice after a ski set.
So, what do I mean by “recovery habits?”
In this case, I am talking about techniques that help to reduce muscle soreness, decrease overall inflammation, and get your body ready to ski again.
Here are five ideas to help you start thinking about your own post-ski recovery routine.
1. Drink lots of water
Water promotes muscle recovery and ligament and tendon health. Daily, you should drink a minimum of half of your body weight in ounces of water. For example, if you weigh 100 pounds, then you should drink a minimum of 50 ounces of water every day.
2. Eat a healthy snack
Consuming a diet rich in natural, unprocessed foods and refueling your body with healthy carbohydrates, fat, and protein reduces inflammation and promotes muscle recovery. Although there are many healthy snack options, one is a handful of almonds and an apple.
3. Go to bed early
Did you know that your body spends the most time in recovery-mode when you are sleeping? That means that getting enough sleep has a huge impact on sports performance!
4. Practice yoga
Yoga can be a great way to mentally unwind and physically restore joint range of motion. One of my favorite YouTube yoga channels is called, “Yoga with Adriene.”
5. Foam roll tight muscles
Targeting stiff tissue with a foam roller or a lacrosse ball brings blood flow to a specific area and works to increase joint range of motion. Performed on a regular basis, these exercises help reduce the risk of injury.
Megan Lambert, CSCS, can be found writing exercise programs and working as a snow ski instructor in Vail, Colo., this winter.
World Water Skiers Foundation
The World Water Skiers Foundation was set up as a Not for Profit Organization to: promote, market and advance diverse worldwide participation and excellence in the sport of water skiing through education, competition and innovation while upholding the principles of fair play. The WWS Foundation was started in 2019 by Jaret Llewellyn and David & Tom Grey. The group held deep concerns over the sustainability of the sport, which stemmed from the fragmented nature of waterskiing. The unfortunate result for the sport is little growth and a trend of losing relevance in today’s culture. The WWS was created in the belief that tournament Water Skiing needs to adapt to the fast pace of today’s technological world.
In an attempt to unify the sport, WWS prioritized the presentation of a modern face for the sport by creating a new website. The website would embrace waterskiing around the World at all levels from Grass Roots to the Elite competitive skier. The aim of the WWS was to create a website, where you can find information from all countries around the world and waterski communities of all levels without going to numerous websites, a characteristic that no other organization offers. Yet, due to the limited resources WWS currently has, it will take time to achieve this ultimate goal. The WWS website has only been live for just over a year but can boast:
The WWS wants to encourage skiers at all levels to go to the website, to create an account, and to fill out their very own profile. Upon creation, skiers can add photos, videos, news articles and a plethora of general information about themselves.
Likewise, any club or organization that wants to embed any of our 'iframes' on their website pulling back information from the WWS Data Hub about their Ski site, Members profiles, Competitions and results are welcome to contact the WWS and will be provided the necessary code to be able to register their club/organization, completely free of charge. An example of this can be see at https://worldwaterskiers.com/site/USAS0001/
The WWS has also been developing other services that will hopefully be useful to the various Waterski Federations around the world. The first of these initiatives was launched last year in conjunction with Waterski Canada. WWS built a new membership platform specific for the sport, which has now been in use for over a year.
The membership platform is already available for integration into all federations and the WWS also hopes to be able to adapt the platform so that it can be made available to Clubs and other Waterskiing Organizations. WWS has also created additional programs to be able to create a competition, take Skier Registration, produce a Participant list and, in due course, score the event. The WWS tournament management system will allow event organizers to improve the efficiency with which they log information and share said details with participating skiers, officials, and viewers. It has been intentionally built to conform to the variety of rule formats that different countries and federations currently use.
Although most of the WWS resources are available for mobile phones via the Web App, one of the top priorities is to build a Mobile App. Because of the extensive database of Athletes, Competitions and Results within the WWS, we hope with a newly developed App, the WWS will be able to send notifications to viewers regarding athletes and results that water ski enthusiasts are interested in. The WWS aims to cover all events around the world, meaning that the notification services will not be restricted only to skiers participating in a national event, but any event world-wide.
World Water Skiers are also looking to put on a signature series of competitions and with major sponsor’s support. The Series was due to be launched last Summer, but because of the travel restrictions being imposed because of the pandemic, the maiden events had to be put off till later this year. Look for announcements on this within the next few months.
WWS has been funding this endeavor for over 4 years so we have had to keep the team small and prioritize projects. So much is available now to the community but there are so many incredible ideas to be built out which will strengthen the platform. Some donations have come in and we are totally humbled by your support. Now is time for engagement, the more the community uses the platform, the more it will grow. However you feel you can contribute to the WWS team by the way of time or financial support, we will dedicate 100% to rebuild the sport that we can all be proud of. https://worldwaterskiers.com/donate/
Holy Toledo! N-3 Boatworks has a new Nautique 200 tournament water ski boat on display at their store. N-3 Boatworks has been advertising an "in house" boat show this week as a result of the cancelled Indiana Boat, Sport & Travel Show which usually occurs about this time in February. They also have some soft goods in their equipment section. Stop by and say hello.
Dear Water Skier Enthusiast,
Plagiarizing from President Kennedy..."Ask not what your water ski organization can do for you, ask what you can do for your Indiana Water Ski Association."
The Indiana Water Ski Association needs you and your family as members! We usually receive our renewals and membership fees for the next year at the annual Fall banquet. Since we did not have the banquet in 2020, we missed the opportunity to start filling our membership rolls for 2021.
We need your membership to help fund the various projects that IWSA supports. We hope you follow IWSA on our website at IndianaWaterSki.org, Facebook, and Instagram. IWSA also sponsors and helps fund the annual Indiana State Water Ski Championships each year. (Timberlake in Mt. Vernon is this year's site) Be reminded that participants in the Indiana Water Ski Championships and recipients of Barb Miller Scholarships must be members of IWSA.
IWSA also promotes additional water ski activities around the state of Indiana including but not limited to the Monday Night Ski League series, the RHI Disabled water ski event, sanctioned tournaments, water ski clinics, etc.
IWSA needs your membership support. A mailing is out today! Forms are also available online at http://www.indianawaterski.org/join-iwsa.html
PayPal method for payment is also available with directions at the bottom of the form.
Ski You Soon!
Prissy Edwards - Membership Chair Person - IWSA - 765-610-7552
Pro Wake Event
This time of year, the Indianapolis Boat Sport and Travel Show is usually in session for Indiana residents to dream about coming spring and water related activities. Due to Covid 19, this year's event was cancelled. Pro Wake Watersports located in Noblesville stepped in on Sunday to help fill the void. They advertised an open house event featuring the unveiling of racing fame Tony Stewart's new Supra wake surfing boat. It was almost like old times as there were numerous boats, other vendors, a beer bar, and a food truck! The event was permitted ahead of time by the Board of Health and building occupancy was limited. Everyone was masked and attempted to keep social distancing. Dan Reed, a Tony Stewart fan, along with many others got Tony's autograph, as well as his girlfriend, Leah Pruett, a NHRA Top Fuel dragster driver, on related materials. Do also be reminded that N-3 Boatworks is also advertising an "In House Boat Show" this week at their showroom located at 7001 Hawthorn Park Drive, Indianapolis.
Skier Recognition Casey Contos
This week we're shining the spotlight on IWSA member Casey Contos. At age 37, Casey has 30 years of competitive water skiing under his belt. Casey trains at Emerald Lake with his father, Kim. Casey is known as a slalom specialist, but also competed in some tricks and jump in his youth, with the first of his numerous Indiana state records being in Boys 1 Overall. That record stood for many years. Casey had the privilege of representing Indiana as a member of Midwest Junior Development Team. He also competed in the prestigious Junior US Team Trials, and Junior US Open. Casey didn't hang up the trick and jump skis until after his 4 years as a collegiate skier at the University of Alabama, where he was an All Star, and helped the Crimson tide to top four finishes at Collegiate Nationals each year.
Casey has four National slalom titles, two each in Men 1, and Men 2, on his resume. He is the current Indiana State Men 2 Slalom Record Holder, as well as the Midwest Regional Championships Tournament Men 2 Slalom Record Holder. August 2018, following the Nationals, Casey "graduated" into the Men 3 division, which made him eligible for the Big Dawg head-to-head cash prize slalom series. A last minute decision to travel to Colorado for the series final qualifying event of the year, after only a couple of practice sets at 34, proved worthwhile. He advanced far enough to earn a spot in the series finals that September in Michigan. It was in the head-to-head round during the Michigan finals that Casey skied a, at the time, PB of 5 at 39 off, before taking a "bell ringer" of a crash going to 6 ball! Casey was hungry for more of the head-to-head formats! In 2019, Casey and his dad, Kim, became the first father and son to complete together in the same Big Dawg events, the qualifier in California, and the finals in West Palm Beach. The finals were held in conjunction with the US Nationals in 2019. Casey chose at Nationals to compete in the elite Masters Men division instead of his Men 3 age division. He earned a podium finish in this tough event.
While electing not to travel in 2020 to regionals or nationals, Casey did travel to Lake 38 in Florida last September to ski in the inaugural 55k W.E.S.T. cash prize head-to-head.. Casey earned the number 3 seed for the head-to-head rounds, following scores of 1 1/2 at 41' in both qualifying rounds! Unfortunately a mistake in his first head-to-head bracket cost him a payout. That's all the motivation Casey needs going into 2021 to reach new goals! The current US 2021 ski year ranking has Casey sitting at number 1 in Men 3, and 7th on the Masters Men slalom list. The latest World Water Skiers weekly ranking list shows Casey at number 3 in the world for 35+ Men Slalom.
Casey enjoys giving back to the sport by coaching young skiers in Indiana's annual Junior Development Clinic. He is also an assistant slalom judge, and newly elected member of the IWSA Board of Directors. Casey lives in Anderson with his wife, Jen, son, Bennett, and daughters Bella, Elle, and Sophia.
IWSA News Blog
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