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 of outstanding service to the sport, Ian was inducted into the Hall of Fame at a presentation ceremony on November 28th 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 significant contributions to the sport outside the framework of the general International Hall of Fame rules. Having just retired as MasterCrafts Vice President of International Business, Ian has actively promoted waterskiing for nearly 40 years. Sponsoring many of our top skiers and riders, organizing, running and funding international competitions, as well as supporting IWWF marketing efforts, Ian's significant role in the success of the sport was fully recognized during the induction ceremony.
Ian comments: "It's a great privilege and honor to receive this award. When I first became involved in waterskiing almost 40 years ago, I never could have expected this kind of recognition. The real satisfaction has come from being apart 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 it will be never-ending if we are to continue to make a difference."
"One of the most important things we can do to benefit waterskiing is to encourage the participation of young athletes. And on my travels around the world, I was pleased to witness this come to fruition. We must continue to promote the involvement of new blood, so 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 this happens. It may not be easy, but it is absolutely necessary."
"So thank you to all the wonderful people whom I have had the chance to become friends with over the years. It's an opportunity that I would not have missed for the world and one that I will cherish forever. This award will continue to remind me and hopefully inspire others of the great things this sport can bring."