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National Bicyle League Hosts Its 2002 Competiotion Congress
This year's annual NBL Competition Congress was held in Covington, KY at the Airport Holiday Inn on February 15 - 17, 2002. There were approximately 250 in attendance. Out of the 250, 110 were delegates and 140 were visitors, NBL staff, and members of NBL Board of Trustees. The theme this year was "NBL PRIDE." This pride was very obvious through the harmony among the office staff, Board of Trustees, Track Operators and State Commissioners.

The entire weekend was filled with informative seminars for all to attend. The seminar rooms were filled to their capacity as never before. The seminars included Basic Clerking, Computer Clerking, Competition Training, Filing for Non-profit Status, Track Maintenance, Promotions & Public Relations, Medical Training, Concessions, and Volunteering. There was also a seminar for all Track Operators and State Commissioners where they learned about all the NBL programs which included the rider awards programs, track incentive programs, and all services provided by the NBL.

Awards were given out on Sunday to reward the many tracks for their accomplishments in rider count and memberships. The NBL has the best Track Incentive Program and it showed on Sunday when the checks were passed out to all the tracks and Race Commissioners. A total of $28,000 was given back to the tracks for new membership rebates and return of sanction fees. Over $30,000 was paid to the Race Commissioners for membership stipend and President's Cup winnings.

The Horizon Awards went to the top Race Commissioners for all of their accomplishments and hard work. This year's winners were: Don Wagner - PA, Benny Lewis - KY, Alice Bixler - FL, Mary Garcia - CA, Dorothy Mosley - TN, Tony Razo - CO, Santa Barbara BMX - CA, New Paltz BMX - NY, Pro BMX Park - TX, and Riverside Park BMX - IL.

Also recognized were many of the volunteers. The annual Volunteer of the Year Award went to Debi Diaz from Las Vegas, NV. Debi has been a part of the NBL for the past 24 years. She has helped at many local and national races and has visited possible site locations for new tracks. Not only has she done all of this, but she's also found time to be a track director and a clerk. Debi has been a huge asset to the NBL and this award acknowledges her for all of her hard work.

The Bob Warnicke Scholarship Fund, which is funded by all the tracks hosting their annual Bob Warnicke races, was one of the highlights of the awards ceremony on Sunday. The NBL is very proud of this scholarship fund, and it wouldn't be possible without the contribution from all the NBL tracks each year. This year the tracks raised over $30,000. The NBL gives out a total of $20,000 to the 8 qualified recipients. The NBL members awarded this year were: Christina Bostrom - $5,000, Lauren Pecorina - $4,000, Ryan Magin - $3,000, Karie Brook - $2,000, Harley Kelley - $1,800, Shawnda Shaughnessy - $1,600, John Pinsonnault - $1,400, and Cassandra Caron - $1,200. Congratulations to all the award winners!

Special thanks goes out to Laura Pingol, Specialized Bicycles, Bombshell Racing, Dope BMX, Chip N' Dale, Safety Harbor Cycle, DK Bicycles, Dan's Competition, Fog Designs, Profile Racing, TB Trophies, Hot Shoppe, and Konica for donating all of the awesome door prizes!

Overall, the 2002 Competition Congress was a big hit. Everyone was able to learn a great deal of important information while getting together with old friends and making new ones. The Saturday night NBL kaeroke party allowed all of us to let loose, have fun and get to know each other even better. A big thank you to everyone who attended for another great year.

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