2017 Jessie Owens Award for Meritorious Service – Ron Jackson
Ron became actively involved in Track & Field while serving as the Program Director for the Oak Lane Youth Association (OLYA) in 1977. His interest grew in the sport and he later founded and served as Head Coach of the Philadelphia Flames Track Club, an all-girls track club, primarily formed to meet the demands of the, at that time, newly instituted Title IX federal mandate.
Ron’s drive and interest in the management and governance of youth track and field cultivated. As a result, he joined the National Youth Athletics Committee of the then National Governing body of ‘The Athletics Congress’ (TAC). Ron was later selected and served as the Referee of the National Junior Olympic Games for 11 years.
As the national organization changed names to ‘USA Track & Field’ (USATF), Ron assumed the position of Vice-Chair Administration of the National Youth Athletics Committee.
Ron returned to the local Mid-Atlantic association where he served as President of the association for 2 years.
Ron later left the USATF to take over the reins of the UAGTCA in 1998 as Director of the organization. He singlehandedly led the UAGTCA to great success in the organization and conduct of youth track and field competitions. Ron’s innovation and vision to take the UAGTCA to the “next level” was achieved through the UAGTCA Youth Invitational, a premier summer competition that draws athletes from around the country as well as from abroad.
Ron’s continued service in the track and field community has provided many youth, officials and volunteers countless opportunities to expand their knowledge and growth to a sport that is for everyone for life.
Ron a retired Equipment Engineer with the former Bell Atlantic Corporation, now Verizon committed over 32 years of service before retiring in 1997.
Mr. Jackson was a master-mind and a perfectionist in all he did and has left a lasting legacy as well as a HUGE footprint in youth athletics. Ron will truly be missed.
“ I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” . 2 Timothy 4:7-8