26 Oct 2018

Simon Berriochoa: "I am very excited to announce that despite the above, USAF Armwrestling is alive and well, continuing to develop and serve the US armwrestling community.."

Message from Simon Berriochoa posted on facebook by Denise Wattles:

"Today it is with a heavy heart and much nostalgia that I unfortunately have to address an issue within our country’s sport. For some time now we have been struggling with an investigation within our board regarding multiple board representatives. Despite this investigation being supported by the World Armwrestling Federation and the North American Armwrestling Federation our two next step governing bodies, these board representatives continually refuse to cooperate, as well, they have illegally attempted to subvert and undermine this investigation, seemingly believing that they have no obligation to adhere to the legal investigation. This continual failure to resolve these matters legally within the investigation process has created an irreparable rift within the USAF board. As such we are left with no choice but to announce that the current USAF representative board is being dissolved in its existing form. Not USAF Armwrestling, that entity remains strongly intact, only the current board form is changing. I consider these people my friends, but in the end I am embarrassed by the level our country now resides at in this sport globally, subsequently action is required to fulfill our responsibility to serve the athletes of the USA and create a board that represents the armwrestlers and cooperate to the growth of the sport.

I am very excited to announce that despite the above, USAF Armwrestling is alive and well, continuing to develop and serve the US armwrestling community. We are coming off a great showing at Worlds from Team USA, I am very proud to be associated with this team every year. The USAF Armwrestling entity is the only organization in the US that is sanctioned and or recognized by the World Armwrestling Federation, North American Armwrestling Federation, Global Association of International Sports Federation, and the International Paralympic Committee, USAF Armwrestling is the only entity that is registered to build and take a team to the WAF World Armwrestling Federation Championships each year. I believe that the road ahead for USAF Armwrestling is set for an exhilarating future as we are now able to move forward with all of the things we have not been allowed to do previously, such as technical advancements in our National Championship event, removing restrictions to athletes within Nationals, listening to the athletes regarding site selection for each years USAF Armwrestling National Championship, USAF level fund raising for Team USA athletes, corporate sponsorship discovery for Team USA, sanctioning of State and Regional level USAF Armwrestling events, and the development of a real referee edification, ranking and compensation program.

Some really large and exciting items that we are developing for USAF Armwrestling is a proper North American Armwrestling Federation Championship that we hope to eventually have rival the large continental events that our other countries within the WAF enjoy. There are 23 sovereign countries in North America and even more non sovereign entities and we are just now with this new board approach in the USA and North America, adding countries beyond just the US and Canada. Costa Rica was added to the NAAF board just a week ago. We are looking to add several more by early next year.

Speaking of Costa Rica, USAF Armwrestling is proud to announce that we are building a USA team to attend the Pan American Armwrestling Championships to be held in San Jose Costa Rica May 18th and 19th of 2019. This will be a team USA event, details on how we are putting the team together will come out in short order, however given the destination we are hoping to build a solidly large team, where we are expecting a dozen countries to attend.

Below is the new website for USAF Armwrestling, it is still under construction but it was long overdue getting this stood up for the athletes. www.usaf-armwrestling.com

USAF Armwrestling is an armwrestler and national armwrestling development focused entity, we are going to continually keep our efforts on our athletes and expanding the sport in the US. Despite being one of the founders of the sport of organized armwrestling in the world, the US has languished behind now even the smaller countries in our sport. Candidly this has happened because our approach in the historical boards has been very myopic, focused on just holding 1 unremarkable event per year, then doing nothing else, and the board not supporting the team or team fund raising. We need to expand ourselves, think bigger, pursue opportunities without the fear and limitations that come from conflicts from competing individual promotions within the board.

This was the most effective manner to get this information out, I will not respond to any comments on here if you have any questions please pm me, I will be glad to get to those as quickly as I can.

My very best regards,
Simon Berriochoa
President USAF Armwrestling
President NAAF"

/ Tomasz Wisniowski