Coe committed to calendar shake-up


Published: Wednesday 3rd December 2014 by The News Editor

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Sebastian Coe has launched his manifesto for the election for the IAAF presidency promising a transformation of the athletics calendar, attracting more young people via ‘street athletics’ and setting up an ethics department for the sport.

Lord Coe, currently a vice-president of athletics’ world governing body, is standing to succeed Lamine Diack, who is stepping down in August. He is likely to face competition from Sergei Bubka, the Ukrainian former pole vault champion who is also an IAAF vice-president.

Coe said: “To many within and outside our sport, our calendar seems disjointed, lacks a narrative and the essential glue to build excitement and a loyal and passionate following.

“Many fans don’t know when the athletics season starts, when it ends, why it seems to bounce around from the USA to Europe to Asia and back again. A harmonised calendar is the key to promotion, marketing, the athletes and member federation development and we must address this.

“We need to be more innovative in how we project and present our sport to the world, both in venue and on screen, give serious consideration to an ‘IAAF Street Athletics’ circuit to help reach new audiences, and create a new IAAF division that has the sole purpose of focussing on youth engagement, especially via social media.”

The ‘four pillars’ of Coe’s manifesto are:

:: reforming the world athletics calendar and bringing in city centre ‘street athletics’ competitions;

:: maximising commercial growth and focusing on youth engagement;

:: increasing resources for anti-doping and creating a new IAAF ethics department;

:: changes to the IAAF internal structure to give a greater voice for athletes.

Coe added: “The vision and proposals that I am unveiling today are designed to increase the reach and appeal of athletics in a world that is rapidly changing.

“I believe that it is essential that we open up a real debate and take a long hard look at the ‘product’ of athletics if we aim to attract more young people into our sport and drive increased participation and income. We must be ready to be creative, take action and embrace change.”

Coe, the double Olympic champion who headed the London 2012 organising committee and is the current British Olympic Association chairman, launched his manifesto in London.

The manifesto also sets a target of increasing the number of nations designated ‘IAAF World Championship Finalist’ status from 60 to 100.

Bubka is also certain to stand – he also stood for the presidency of the International Olympic Committee in 2013 but that backfired when he attracted only four votes in the final round of voting.

Another possible candidate is Nawal El Moutawakel, the former Moroccan hurdler and the first female African-born Muslim to become an Olympic champion.

The deadline for candidates to register they are standing for the presidency is May 2015 and the election will take place at the IAAF Congress in Beijing in August.

Published: Wednesday 3rd December 2014 by The News Editor

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