Early next month, on December 6th, the Austin Track Club will host a Track and Field Summit for professional athletes. If you are in Austin, you can attend the event in person (at the Hilton Garden Inn 500 IH-35) or you can participate via a live streaming session hosted by Flotrack. According to event organizer George Perry, the idea is to bring together athletes, coaches, sponsors, running stores, fans, race directors, and sports media to lay out the next steps our sport needs to take on the road to professionalization.
“As a sport, we’re past the point of simply identifying the structural problems that hold our athletes back – we already know how difficult it is to make a professional career as a track and field athlete, especially if you’re on the cusp of the elite tier or returning from injury. The Summit is about tapping into the resources that we already have in our sport’s community – track clubs, local sponsors, an enormous and enthusiastic participant base – to get athletes and the sport moving towards the professional ranks. We’re also going to be looking at the next big steps that need to be taken – expanding the number and depth of competitive opportunities for our athletes, building a network of sustainable elite development track clubs across the country, and pushing the envelope on sponsorships beyond having the select few athletes simply be billboards for a shoe company. Regardless of their role in track and field, we want attendees to leave the Summit with new ideas and new perspectives on how to create value for the sponsors, the fans and, ultimately, the athletes. After the Summit, we’ll be producing a road map for the TFAA to distribute to athletes and clubs to work from as they seek to take the next step towards professionalizing the sport.”
Thanks to the generosity of sponsors, admission is free of charge and lunch will be provided (if you want to give a shout-out, the relevant sponsors are Atlas Coaching and Performance and My Fit Foods).