President Amy Bragg's message to CPSDA membership
Let me begin by thanking the entire CPSDA family for coming together in the past few years to fulfill the vision so many of us shared for building a vibrant organization that truly speaks with ne voice to promote the measurable value that Sports RDs and other performance nutrition specialists bring to athletics. We have much to be proud of, but also much more work to do, if we are to fulfill our goal of earning the respect and recognition for the contributions we make to athletes and athletics in the United States.
I was fortunate in May to take the baton as the second President of the Collegiate & Professional Sports Dietitians Association from Dave Ellis, a true visionary for our profession who worked tirelessly during his two years in office to construct the foundation of our organization. Dave, who remains on our nine-member Board of Directors to serve as CPSDA Past President, handed over a member-driven organization that is both properly positioned and financially sound; well-structured from the top down to share the considerable workload; and clearly focused on a growth trajectory that we believe will serve our membership well for decades to come.
The CPSDA’s 4th Annual conference held in May 2012 in St. Pete Beach, Fla. drew 225 members, guests, and representatives from all 15 of the sponsor partners we’re so fortunate to have. The classroom sessions were insightful, instructional and well received, and evaluations by those in attendance highlighted areas that can be improved, and we’re squarely focused on doing so. Five social gatherings, all underwritten by our sponsors and included as part of the member benefits for everyone attending the conference, provided ideal settings for the type of relationship-building and information-sharing that our annual conference is designed in part to produce.
As your Board of Directors looks ahead to our 5th Annual Conference at the St. Louis Union Station Marriott May 20-23, 2013—with a Monday thru Thursday schedule that starts a few days later in May to accommodate more college graduates—rest assured that the classroom sessions will be even more constructive and helpful to our members; the exhibit breaks will be longer to give everyone more time to spend with our sponsors; and you’ll enjoy the same high quality social events we’ve provided in recent years. Our hope is that we can fill every one of the 270 classroom seats we’ll have available in St. Louis next year. And to realize that vision, we hope our membership will begin planning now to join us. Conference Chair Amy Freel (Indiana University) and her outstanding committee that includes newly elected Vice President Randy Bird (University of Virginia), Lindsey Remmers (University of Nebraska) and Caroline Mandel (University of Michigan) will not disappoint.
We’ve achieved significant milestones during the past year: making huge strides in partnering with and educating those outside our immediate circle to advocate for the value of Sports RDs; re-dedicating ourselves to preparing more of our young members for the rigors of full-time employment; and increasing awareness and understanding of the newly minted “CPSDA” and “Sports RD” brands, and the vital role we play in athletics. Perhaps the purest measure of advancement, however, is the fact that we head into the 2012 college football season with more full-time job opportunities being offered by major colleges, pro teams and the U.S. military than we have experienced Sports RDs to fill them.
For the many members we have who would like to apply for those jobs--and an even wider array of career opportunities we envision in the years ahead--CPSDA decided recently to create the first one-day “boot camp” for aspiring Sports RDs on Saturday, January 26, 2013 at Georgia Tech in Atlanta. The boot camp, which will be presented by “Premier” CPSDA sponsor Muscle Milk, is intended to frame and, to the best of our ability, teach the basic requirements of serving as a full-time Sports RD in the highly-charged athletic environment. The eight hours of intensive instruction we provide during this all-day boot camp—which is being structured under the direction of CPSDA Board member and Education Chair Allison Maurer (University of Tennessee) for traditional RDs aspiring to become “Sports RDs,” and for college students of dietetics who seek a career in sports—will strive to give everyone who attends a firm basis on which to begin their career, with a clear vision of what the job entails. We’re limiting registration to 100 attendees, with early registration beginning Sept. 3rd. The registration fee is $75 thru December 31st, then rises to $100 for late registrants in January. We invite everyone to visit our web site page (boot camp) to register online beginning in early September, and to keep an eye on both our members-only listserv and on E-mail blasts for periodic updates.
Finally, as so many us head into another busy school year, I’d like to remind everyone to try to find some time each day to catch up on our listserv. We have a wealth of experience to share, but that opportunity to enhance a colleague’s journey passes when we don’t take time to post. CPSDA and future Sports RDs benefit when you share your knowledge! Our listserv remains one of the most valuable member benefits we offer. We also recommend that you visit our web site from time to time. There you’ll find all the helpful assets we produce, ranging from one-page promotional flyers such as “Sports RD Advantage” and timely news announcements to new job postings (careers) and our recently released 16-minute documentary “Sports RDs Rising,” all of which help define who we are and what we do.
make sure to tour through our complete roster of 15 CPSDA sponsor
partners—we’ve dedicated one web page to each of them on the CPSDA web
site—and try to reward them in whatever way you can. They’ve invested in our profession, and in our association, in more ways than I can express.
---Amy Bragg, RD, CSSD, LD
Director of Performance Nutrition, University of Alabama