Recently, local newspaper headlines have been declaring it is boom time for athletics on the Isle of Man, with reference to record numbers taking part in the Microgaming Cross-country League, the continuing success of our team of young athletes in the Youth Development League and with individuals like Catherine Reid achieving success on a world stage.
It is clear, with stories like these, and due to the hard work of everyone involved in the sport, that athletics is progressing at an alarming rate.
But…and it is a huge BUT, such a boom means everyone in the sport is having to do more! And I am very worried that this is not sustainable.
To put it bluntly, I am very worried that athletics on the island is going bust.
We desperately need helpers.
We need some of the veteran athletes to step forward and put something back into the sport.
We need parents of our young athletes to help in organizing and running events.
We need as many people as we can to get involved in the sport, to lighten the load of those currently doing too much.
From top to bottom, we need help!
At IOMAA Committee level, we need help.
At the end of November, after 5 years in office, I am stepping down as Chairman.
After more than 12 years in office, my wife is stepping down as Treasurer and Secretary.
We need someone to fill these positions.
We need someone to help with the money side of running the IOMAA.
We need an IOMAA Secretary to handle correspondence and Minutes.
We need an Athletics Development Officer to help our young athletes achieve their potential in the sport.
We need a YDL Manager to organise and help our young athletes compete in the UK YDL league next year.
We need someone to maintain the IOMAA website.
We need someone to be administrator of the IOMAA Facebook site.
We need someone to look after athletics kit and make sure our athletes are looking the part when they compete for the island teams.
We need someone to help maintain island athletics records.
We need someone to help with matters of athletes’ welfare.
We need someone to help with cross country registrations.
We need someone to help organize the cross country Presentation Evening, making sure all the trophies have been returned, new ones have been ordered and then presented to the athletes who have completed the League.
We need someone to liaise with existing sponsors and help find new ones.
At club level, we need more coaches to help run training sessions.
We need more officials to help at events, whether it be to hold a tape measure or rake the long-jump pit, or take names on the registration desk.
We need helpers to travel with our teams competing off-island.
We need someone to help set out the cross country courses.
We need someone to help with car-parking at events.
In summary, we need people to come forward and give up an hour or two of their time. We need people to show commitment.
All these roles are unpaid. All these roles are vital if we want athletics to continue to flourish.
If we cannot fill these positions, athletics events will not happen.
If we do not recruit more helpers, athletics, now booming, will go bust.
If you can help, then email email@example.com to find out more.