Pan American Region - Annual Report
The activities and accomplishments in the Pan American Region since the 1997 Worlds in Medellin have been varied and designed to promote the sport directly to the general public, gaining a tremendous following in the past 12 months. This alone has contributed to the success of a great number of events in the Americaís.
There were no changes to the Pan American Region administration. Mr. Vernon Oberg (CAN) remains as President, Jeffry Armstrong (US) remains as Tournament Council Chair and Dr. Jorge Renosto Sr. (ARG) remains as Secretary General. The President of COLAEN is still Waldo Miranda Domel (CHI). Additional Vice Presidents for the Region were elected including Frank Harrison (US) for North America and Arturo Torres (MEX) for Central America.
This remains a sore point in our organization but, a number of developments have and will ensure further participation in our Region. Peru and Brasil are approaching NOC status but what is more important, after the IWSF EB meeting, ODESUR (South American Sports Organization) may grant water skiing a berth in the South and Central American Games where, all NOCís in South America will take notice. This is important as previously, our organization was ignored. However, with the successes of the Colombian, Argentine and Mexican skiers, many of these organizations are taking notice.
On a second front, we have been promoting Wakeboarding throughout the Americaís with the assistance of Jimmy Redmon (US), Susan Heer (CAN), and Gonzalo Chalo Renosto from Argentina. This discipline has spread wildly throughout the Caribbean and South America countries and is an excellent boost to our Region.
Lastly, the COLAEN organization headed capably by Waldo Miranda of Chile, is actively and vigorously promoting the sport in South America. With assistance from the Olympic Development Fund, the Pan Am Region has injected over $SF 20,000 into a program to develop officials, train event organizers, provide training and, lobby Olympic Committees to ensure water skiingís firm grip in the Americaís.
We have all been under a great deal of stress in the past year working diligently for the Olympic Movement.. If we gain our berth, this would be a wonderful scenario. If not, we are still a very dedicated organization that has a lot to accomplish in the years to come and, we will be a sport to reckon with in the 21st Century.
In the Pan Am Region, I would like to thank Bob Corson for his vision and the newly appointed chair of the AWSA Board, Mark Crone both for his push to extend our sport around the world but also for his tremendous efforts with speed control.
But, there are a number of other international individuals who have, in my eyes, put in a tremendous effort that need to be recognized including of course, Andres Botero - the driving force behind our every endeavours. There are others including Graziano Tognala who has been the life blood of this drive and of course, Depi, who has been instrumental in keeping us within striking distance. Not to be forgotten is the efforts of Max Kirwan who, at the Asian Games ensured that Speed Control was implemented for this event and or course, Aubrey Sheena who is now spearheading our environmental handbook - a most important document that we will need for our sport.