(PRCA media release)
COLORADO SPRINGS – The PRCA has selected longtime sports administrator Anthony Bartkowski of Colorado Springs, Colo., as its Director, Athlete Development and Welfare, starting on Jan. 7, 2019. Bartkowski, who worked for PRCA Properties from 1999-2005, returns to the association after most recently serving as the Executive Director of the National Wheelchair Basketball Association. He possesses expansive experience in sports administration, serving in numerous capacities during his career.
This new position will be multi-faceted in overseeing the operations of rodeo athlete development, livestock welfare, and contestant assistance along with industry outreach education focused on continued growth of the sport.
“We expect one of Anthony’s primary objectives to be focused on developing amateur and junior rodeo programs through athlete recruitment and retention, and athlete pipeline integration,” PRCA CEO George Taylor said. “This initiative will encompass a diverse community of leaders inside and outside of the PRCA, and Anthony is in a great position to do that.”
Bartkowski also will oversee the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund, the non-profit organization that has provided more than $8 million in assistance to injured rodeo athletes and their families since its formation.
Bartkowski also will lead the team accountable for the continued growth of the PRCA Livestock Welfare program which ensures the proper care, handling and treatment of livestock at PRCA events.
“First, I want to thank George Taylor and the PRCA for providing this opportunity to expand and grow rodeo participation at all levels, in particular the grassroots initiatives,” Bartkowski said. “The PRCA is steeped in great tradition and has established itself as a leader. I have a passion for sports and want to provide our cowboys and rodeos with the necessary programs and tools for success at all levels.”
Bartkowski also had successful leadership positions with USA Boxing, ESPN, USA Hockey, USA Boxing, USA Wrestling and USA Weightlifting, where he developed a wealth of experience in developing, bidding and managing successful sporting events.
An avid angler, Bartkowski has been a fly-fishing guide in Colorado since 2004 and was recognized as the Guide of the Year for the Flyfisher Guide Service three times. He graduated from Edinboro University with a degree in communications. He and his wife, Kimberly, reside in the Colorado Springs area.