Ian Birdsall- MasterCraft Boat Company's former Vice President of International Business and founder of MasterCraft Europe was recently selected by the IWWF Executive Board to receive a special order of merit to the Waterski Hall of Fame in recognition of nearly 40 years outstanding service to the sport.
The Hall of Fame induction presentation took place last Thursday at the World Waterski Championships in Santiago - Chile.
This distinction is granted at the discretion of the IWWF Executive Board to individuals who have made a significant contribution to our sport outside the framework of the general International Hall of Fame rules.
Having just retired as MasterCraft's Vice President of International Business, Ian has actively promoted our sport for nearly 40 years. Sponsoring many of our top skiers and riders, organizing, running and funding national and international competitions and generally supporting IWWF marketing efforts, Ian has played a significant part in the success of our sport over the years and his efforts were fully recognized at the ceremony.
Ian comments: "It's a great privilege and honour to receive this award. When I first become involved in this sport almost 40 years ago I could never have expected this. The real satisfaction has come from being a part of keeping our sport alive, keeping it in the moment and driving its progress. Many, many people have been involved in that process which is ongoing and will be never ending if we are to continue to make a difference.
One of the most important things we can do to benefit our sport is to encourage the participation of young athletes, I am so pleased to witness on my travels around the world that we are seeing this come to fruition, we must continue to promote the involvement of new blood, in order that the sport will stay in tune with the culture and demands of the future. We can all play a part in making sure that happens, it may not be easy but is absolutely necessary.
So thank you to all the wonderful people I have had the chance to become friends with over the years, it's an opportunity I would not have missed for the world, one that I will cherish for ever, and this award will continue to remind me and hopefully inspire others of the great things this sport can bring."