During last week’s meeting of USADSF’s National Sport Organizations Council meeting, the Council elected Lawrence “Larry” Smith of USA Deaf Track and Field as the Summer NSO Chair and Elizabeth “Liz” Matthews of USA Deaf Curling as the Winter NSO Chair.
Larry Smith, of Austin, Texas, brings over 29 years of scholastic and international coaching experience in track and field, having served as a speciality coach for the United States Deaflympic team in four Deaflympics as well as one World Deaf Championships and one World Deaf Indoor Championships. Smith, who also coaches track and field at the Texas School for the Deaf, is known for his acumen in planning, development, and fundraising as well as his outstanding relationships with athletes. Upon being elected into his new role as the Summer NSO Chair, Smith remarked, “I am looking forward to fostering informative engagement with all sports organizations with great zeal.”
Liz Matthews, of Minnesota, is a founding member of USA Deaf Curling from its beginning following the 2007 Winter Deaflympics in Salt Lake City, when curling was a demonstration sport. At the 2009 World Deaf Curling Championships, Matthews won two silver medals. Matthews, who currently serves as Secretary of USA Deaf Curling, has also served as the organization’s Treasurer. During the election, Matthews remarked that, “the timing felt right to jump into this role and work with everyone to ensure that NSO voices are heard.”
Matthews and Smith will serve as co-chairs of the NSO Council, represent NSO voices and vote on behalf of the NSO Council on the USADSF Executive Board. Matthews’ term will continue until sixty days after the conclusion of the Winter Deaflympics, while Smith’s term will continue until sixty days after the conclusion of the Summer Deaflympics.
With Matthews and Smith stepping into their roles as the Winter and Summer NSO Chairs, Stacy Nowak’s term as the USADSF NSO Representative on the USADSF Executive Board has concluded. However, Nowak will continue to support USADSF in the coming months with the transition to the new NSO co-Chairs. Nowak’s wide-ranging contributions over the past five years in this capacity has included providing invaluable support as a team leader and media lead at the 19th Winter Deaflympics and the 24th Summer Deaflympics.Nowak, a staunch voice for NSO interests, was also instrumental in establishing USADSF’s Women’s Committee, the Donalda Ammons Advocacy Award, and the Dr. Glenn Anderson Fund for BIPOC Athletes.
USADSF President Jeffrey Mansfield commented, “USADSF is deeply grateful for Stacy Nowak’s work with the NSOs and the Executive Board over these past five years, and we will miss Stacy’s wisdom, passion, and sharp intuition. We trust that Stacy will continue to be active in the deaf sports community and look forward to her future contributions to the movement.”
“At the same time,” Mansfield added, “the re-structure of the NSO Council with Larry and Liz as the new co-chairs of the Council is something that I believe will increase the level of engagement and collaboration amongst the NSOs and USADSF. I believe this will be an important part of raising the bar for the Deaf sports movement in the United States and beyond. On behalf of the USADSF Board ofctors, I look forward to working closely with Larry, Liz, and the NSO Council to achieve these goals.”