IAAF's Coe and Bayi in Tanzania to inspire kids

Coe and Bayi (centre) with kids in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (IAAF)

Two living legends of middle distance running and two global programmes for the development of youth athletics came together this week in Tanzania.

Last Tuesday, Tanzania’s Filbert Bayi, who set a World 1500m record (3:32.2) on 2 February 1974 in Christchurch in an epic battle with New Zealand’s John Walker during the Commonwealth Games Final, met up with IAAF Vice President Sebastian Coe, who improved his global mark with a 3:32.1 run in Zurich on 15 August 1979, to promote the joys of Athletics to the kids of Tanzania.

Coe, Chair of the London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG), was in Tanzania as part of a London 2012’s global promotion during which he visited Kibasila School in Dar es Salaam.

Whilst there, Coe and Bayi watched kids in action in activities organised by Young Leaders who are an integral part of London 2012’s International Inspirations programme, and assist IAAF Kids’ Athletics programme which is one of the biggest grassroots development programmes in the world of sports.

LOCOG’s International Inspirations dovetail with the objectives of IAAF Kids’ Athletics, aiming to provide high quality sport and PE opportunities to children and young people around the world.

Coe said that the commitment to the International Inspiration programme shown by Africa’s National Olympic and Paralympic Committees (ANOCA), schools, governments and partners helped to demonstrate the important benefits of sport in local communities and in children’s lives.

Coe also met with Tanzanian Olympic officials, athletes and sports leaders and discussed preparations for the London 2012 Games, which he said were on time and centred on providing the optimum conditions for the athletes to perform at their best.

With the addition to the programme of Egypt earlier this month, a total of nine (9) countries in Africa are involved with the International Inspiration programmes, more than any other continent.

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