USOC Creates New Director of Collegiate Partnerships Role…..In an effort to retain NCAA Division 1 sports NOT named basketball or football, which ultimately feed into U.S. Olympic teams competing at Summer Games, the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) has created a new position entitled ‘Director of Collegiate Partnerships’. In light of the fact that there have been discussions among some college presidents about possibly reducing the number of sponsored sports required to be a Division 1 member, currently at 14, the USOC is hoping the position will help combat the prospect of sports being eliminated. The USOC describes the role as working with national sports governing bodies and the NCAA to “develop actionable plans to reduce expenses associated with sponsoring sports”, while also maintaining quality experiences for the participating student-athletes. The goal is to fill the position by 2016. Of the possibility of Olympic sports being cut at the NCAA level, USA Wrestling Executive Director and National Governing Bodies Council Chair, Rich Bender, relays “This is an all-hands-on-deck situation. I think in the past as we’ve all looked to try to grow and entrench our college programs, we’ve done it somewhat in a silo. I think (the new USOC position) is a great opportunity for us to kind of work together and have there be strength in numbers here.”
Budapest Named 2019’s European Capital of Sport…..Budapest, Hungary, one of five cities in the running to host the 2024 Olympic Games, has been selected by the European Capitals of Sport Association (ACES) as this year’s European Capital of Sport. The honor marks the first time a Hungarian city has claimed the annual award. Other candidates in the running included Málaga, Spain, Yerevan in Armenia, and Valletta, Malta. ACES President, Gian F. Lupatelli said that, “Budapest had been a very strong candidate and had showed enough potential to be European Capital of Sport”. Alexandra Szalay-Bobrovniczky, Deputy Mayor of Budapest – ”The announcement supports Budapest’s bid for the 2024 Olympics, brings media and global attention to the capital and importantly, we will gain valuable experience throughout the year,” she said. ”Budapest will mainly use existing venues and no infrastructure developments will be needed.” Budapest is scheduled to host the 2017 FINA Aquatics World Championships.
Northbridge, Massachusetts HS Team Continues On…..An on-the-brink-of-being-cut Massachusetts high school swim team composed of athletes from Nipmuc, Northbridge, Grafton and Sutton raised the funds necessary to keep the team in tact. Due to budget cuts, the team faced elimination unless the team could self-raise the necessary funds to keep the team running. The team and communities did just that, raising the necessary $7800 through a series of fundraisers, including a swim-a-thon, boot drive and GoFundMe page. “Knowing that I will be able to compete in the sport I love my last year in high school is the best feeling in the world, said swim team member Carly Thibodeau, a Nipmuc Regional High School senior.“Also to know that it was possible because of the generosity and support of local communities is an unbelievably great feeling as well,” Thibodeau added. “We could not have done it without the community’s support, and that means more than words can say.”