May 5, 2020
Dear Members of the Ultimate Community,
We hope you are safe, healthy and doing well during these difficult times.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a profound and unprecedented effect on our sport and society, we share with you a feeling of sadness and disappointment that the pause button has been pushed temporarily on ultimate.
Last month, we received more than 8,000 responses to an important survey that will help us determine when and how to safely play ultimate again. Thank you, sincerely, for taking the time to provide us with so much thoughtful and insightful feedback during these uncertain times. We are analyzing the data and using it to develop a plan to resume playing, whenever and however it’s safe for our members and community to do so.
With your help, we are exploring and considering a variety of creative and alternative plans, which will likely include different competition formats and structures at first. We are also part of a national task force with other sports organizations that is developing best practices for returning to play and learning from some of the brightest scientific and medical minds that are helping to shape the safe return of sports. Truthfully, we cannot say when – or even if – we’ll be able to play ultimate again this year. At least not in the way we’re familiar with. Or in the way we all know and love. We remain hopeful and cautiously optimistic.
As long as this uncertainty persists, the sustainability of USA Ultimate and all of the amazing programs and services we provide for our members and the greater ultimate community are being threatened. Like all small, 501(c)(3) nonprofit national governing bodies of amateur sport, membership dues are critical to our existence and success – the lifeblood that supports so much of what we do. Without our members’ continued loyal and generous support, we simply would not be able to maintain the level of service and support that we’ve grown accustomed to offering.
Membership is so much more than a requirement to participate in a USA Ultimate sanctioned event. It is essential for supporting a wide variety of important services, programs and initiatives that often fly under the radar, including:
- Providing safe spaces for our athletes to learn, develop and play through athlete safety programs like SafeSport, coach training and insurance for local events and leagues;
- Helping to create a more inclusive and equitable community with a multitude of equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives;
- Creating education and training programs and materials for coaches, observers, organizers and tournament directors that support the growth of local playing opportunities;
- Facilitating the growth of ultimate in a way that prioritizes equity with opportunities for youth and girls to learn and play;
- Maintaining and enhancing competitive rules and Spirit of the Game;
- Helping new organizations and teams with financial aid and equipment grants;
- Funding for our state-based organizations and local affiliate disc organizations;
- Developing and maintaining a new website, mobile app and technology platform;
- Producing media coverage and creating positive visibility for ultimate;
- Supporting a 17-person professional staff and nationwide network of dedicated and passionate volunteers who work tirelessly to create, implement and maintain these programs and the many events we organize.
Quite simply, none of these things would exist without the collective support of our members for which we are extremely appreciative. They all matter. Not just to support USA Ultimate’s mission, but to achieve the important goals the ultimate community identified with us in surveys and strategic planning initiatives. Through the implementation of these programs and services, value is provided to all: athletes, coaches, volunteers, organizers, educators, observers, parents and guardians, fans and more.
To show our gratitude for your continued support, and in asking for your help, we are offering a variety of deeply discounted multi-year membership rates. For a limited time you can save between 25 and 50 percent off your membership. Or, you can even gift a membership to someone you care about via a gift card.
Whether you were planning on lacing up later this year or recently hung up your cleats for good, please consider renewing your membership in USA Ultimate. If not for the joy and thrill of competing, or for the camaraderie of our community, then to simply show your love and support for our remarkable sport and to help safeguard our ability to continue offering our programs, events and services at the same levels in the future.
We are thankful for your support and hope to see you all soon.
|Robyn Fennig||Tyler Kinley||Dr. Tom Crawford|
|President||Vice President||Chief Executive Officer|