Letters to the editor

Lettres au rédacteur


I read with some interest George Gross Jr’s comments in Athlete’s Dais, Champion (March 1979). I would like to tell you about our experience in Archery.

We have had an athlete as a member of our Technical Committee for a number of years. This has been an unqualified success, bringing fresh ideas to the planning process, as well as ensuring that the training programs developed by our NSGB meet the needs of our athletes.

As well as having an athlete as a member of the Technical Committee, we recently had two committees entirely composed of athletes. They revamped our seeding system and the team selection process. Their reports were accepted, with little change, by the board of directors and produced an effective and simple seeding system that has the full backing of all the athletes. Although the team selection process they devised was considered radical at the time, it has worked well and with almost no controversy.

I feel, however, that involvement of athletes in technical planning needs to be taken one step further.

In past years, the NSGBs have been responsible for planning and setting standards for teams sent to international competitions. This is no longer true. For the three most prestigious events, the Commonwealth Games, the Pan Am Games, and the Olympic Games, we now have the involvement of the Canadian Olympic Association (COA). I don’t question this involvement. It is their money and they should set standards to get the best value for the many dollars they spend sending athletes to these competitions. I also think it is basically a good idea for the COA to assume a leadership role to make sure that individual sports are making a committed drive for excellence.

It is true that these standards have been set with some consultation with the NSGBs and, therefore, it could be said that there is athlete involvement. However, it is my experience that the standards set by the COA have often been unrealistic and based largely on statistical data alone.

Some NSGBs have been successful in having these standards reduced to levels they felt they could live with, but it has been a long and slow process.

I believe that the involvement of current athletes in the COA at all levels, including the technical process, is vital to the development of excellence for all sports in this country.

JOAN F. MCDONALD, B Card Athlete,



At the 1978 Ladies Modern Pentathlon World Championships at Jônkôping, Sweden, a 17-year old Canadian won the bronze medal.

Nancy Absolon amassed 4,573 points to edge the 1977 world champion, Virginia Swift, of the USA. Britain’s Wendy Norman was the gold medallist with 4,646 points. The silver medal went to Wendy Skipworth, also of Britain, with 4,626 points.

Nancy’s twin sister, Paula, the only other Canadian entry, was seventh with 4,310 points.

The Jônkôping results were the best ever by Canadian pent-athletes.

A week before the Worlds, Poland hosted the World Cup in which Nancy Absolon placed fourth with 4,520 points. Paula finished that competition in sixth place with 4,420 points.

Ladies Modern Pentathlon has been described as “five not so easy athletic pieces.” Competitors must ride an obstacle course of 18 fences; fence; shoot a .22 pistol at turning targets; swim 200m freestyle; and run 2km cross country.

The 1979 World Championships will be held in Zielona Gora, Poland, July 20-24.




I read with interest an issue of Champion recently and was wondering if you could please put us on your mailing list.

We find that magazines such as yours provide us with a link with what is going on in the various sports throughout the world.