World Athletics launches ‘Global Conversation’ to shape its future

New Delhi, 22 Mar: World Athletics on Monday launched an ambitious initiative named “The Global Conversation for the Future of Athletics” to develop the profile of the sport through the decade.
“Today, we are embarking on an unprecedented Global Conversation with all those who love our sport and want to have a say in its future,” World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said in a release.
“The global pandemic has highlighted the need and desire of governments and communities to keep fit and healthy. Athletics, as the most accessible and participated sport on the planet, has a key role in helping to achieve this.”
The purpose of the initiative is to listen to the athletics community, to identify where the sport stands now throughout the world, and to establish a vision and direction for the period through to 2030.
“Through this global engagement phase, I want to hear from everyone who cares about athletics and about health and fitness,” Coe said.
“Our strength as a sport lies in the diversity of our community and we need to hear the voices of our key stakeholders in all of our 214 countries and territories in order to develop a plan that fully represents our global aspirations for athletics to grow and thrive over the coming years.”
This worldwide campaign will run for a six-week period in the form of a survey available in 12 different languages.
The responses will help to give World Athletics a clear understanding of the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead and how the athletics community envisions the present and future of the sport.
“It is a unique initiative not attempted by any international federation so far,” Adille Sumariwalla who is a member of the World Plan Working Group told PTI.
“Athletics is already a world sport but with this we want to take the sport to areas hitherto not reached by understanding what is required in different areas of the world and different environments to further raise the profile in the coming years.
“This we hope will also streamline the roles of different stakeholders like member federations, coaches or athletes or fans.”
A draft plan will be developed for presentation to the World Athletics Council by mid-year. Once accepted, a final plan will be distributed to the Member Federations for formal approval at the biennial World Athletics Congress in November 2021.
The process is being overseen by the World Plan Working Group, which comprises seven Council Members, chaired by former triple jump world record-holder Willie Banks, assisted by the Sports Business Group at Deloitte. (PTI)