In a very competitive contest, track & field icon and USATF Foundation Director Willie Banks was elected to the IAAF Council last week in Doha, Qatar. Banks will serve a 4-year term as an “Individual Council Member”.

As a former world record holder, Willie is no stranger to being a high-profile personality in the track & field world. He represented Team USA in 18 national competitions, including the 1984 and 1988 Olympic teams. Willie was a member of the 1987 World Championship team and he brought home silver for the U.S team at the 1983 Championship. In addition, Willie invented the “rhythmic clap”, a move that has been utilized by countless athletes that have followed in his footsteps.

Banks, however, believes his greatest accomplishment is his election to the IAAF Council.

“Being elected to the IAAF Council is more than an honor, it is the most thrilling and rewarding accomplishment I have had in my athletic career. To be able to give back and help shape the future of the sport that has given me so much, is the epitome of a blessing, said Banks.”

Banks added, “My main focus will be on ridding our sport of the scourge of drug cheats, expanding opportunities for our athletes, supporting the private and IAAF competitions financial viability, supporting innovation in our sport, and changing the culture of our sport to make it more constituent and fan friendly and entertaining for those young and old! I want to work on the concept that, it is better to partner for stability than to wrestle for control.”

The USA Track & Field Foundation provides a means to attract and guide funds to new and innovative track & field programs with an emphasis on providing opportunities for youth athletes, emerging elite athletes, and distance training centers. The Foundation depends upon donations from its Board of Directors, major gifts and from generous fans of track & field.

Elite athletes are supported by the Foundation via monetary grants and participation in Run With US! (www.runwithus.org). Youth athletes are supported via monetary grants to youth clubs.

For more information, or to contribute to the USA Track & Field Foundation, visit www.usatffoundation.org or contact Tom Jackovic at (412) 398-2484 or tjackovic@usatffoundation.org.