Columbus, OH — On Friday and Saturday (Nov. 8-9), young adults from across the country gathered in Columbus, Ohio, for the inaugural USTA Youth Delegate Summit. Seven USTA Youth Delegates participated in the two-day event, which included an evening of team-building activities, a tour of Virgil Morgan Jr.’s Winners Circle Training Center, and a visit to Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway.
On Saturday, delegates spent the morning learning about social media and event coverage from the USTA social media team. They then took turns practicing what they’d learned in a simulated reporting exercise with caretakers from the Brady Galliers stable.
The group spent the afternoon discussing social media etiquette and the efficacy of the Youth Delegate program and heard presentations from USTA social media coordinator Michael Carter, USTA director Gabe Wand and Harness Horse Youth Foundation Executive Director Ellen Taylor.
The summit concluded with an action-packed trip to Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway. Delegates were given a special tour of the facility, met with race office personnel, and interviewed several top drivers including Chris Page, Tyler Smith, and Dan Noble.
Following his interview with District 9 Youth Delegate Colin Boyle, Brett Miller gave his helmet to the young harness racing fan — a generous reward for a job well done.
The delegates also met and took a photo with State Representative J. Todd Smith, who was visiting the racetrack as well.
“My favorite part of the summit would have to be the evening at Dayton Raceway,” said 17-year-old Scarlett Wilder, the Youth Delegate Chairperson. “I’m really proud of our group and I think we performed very well. Everyone stepped up and went outside of their comfort zone, which helped this group grow tremendously.”
Launched in 2018, the USTA Youth Delegate program is designed to raise up young leaders in the sport of harness racing, encourage them to participate in local and regional racing-related events, and give them an opportunity to influence and shape the future of racing.
The USTA Youth Delegates will next convene at the annual USTA Board of Directors meeting in Columbus, Ohio, from March 13-16, 2020.