IAAF set date for 2009 World Athletics Day

Submitted by ATAF Editor on 22 April 2009 - 7:01pm

160 out of 213 IAAF’s Member Federations will celebrate the IAAF World Athletics Day in the weekend of Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 May, 2009, according to the IAAF.org.

Image removed.The IAAF's annual worldwide festival of youth, the IAAF World Athletics Day, one of the busiest programmes of competitions in the annual global Athletics calendar, remains as popular as ever, with 160 of the 213 IAAF Member Federations requesting to participate in 2009.

An invitation to attend part of the 12th IAAF World Championships in Athletics in Berlin, Germany is the motivational reward which is on offer to those individual children lucky enough to be picked from a draw of winning national youth athletes submitted by IAAF Member Federations that will be participating in the 2009 IAAF World Athletics Day.

The IAAF's annual worldwide festival of youth, which was inaugurated in 1996, had until last year always been held on a designated weekend each year. However, while the weekend of Saturday 16 & Sunday 17 May 2009 is the preferred time for the IAAF's Member Federations to celebrate the IAAF World Athletics Day, in an effort to aid the greatest possible number of the participants Federations have again been given the option of holding their celebration at any time in the month of May if it suits their arrangements better. Also there is the possibility to stage an event in several venues at the same time.

This year's project involves Youth Age Group children from Clubs who were born in 1992-1993 (16-17 years old).

For the fourth year in accordance with the goal of the IAAF Athletics' World Plan to make Athletics the number one sport in schools, the World Athletics Day is also being organised in close cooperation with the relevant national ministry which is in charge of School Sport in each country.

The result of this initiative is that 143 of the Member Federations have signed-up for the School element of the project in 2009 which involves the ‘Minimes' age group: Boys and Girls born in 1994-1995-1996 (13-15 years old).

There is also the possibility to stage competitions for teams as well as those for individuals in this ‘Minimes' age group.

As in the past, once all competition results have been received by the IAAF there will be a draw of national winners for the Youth Age Group and the "Minimes" School Children sometime in the month of June.

The World Athletics Day 2009 Draw will determine the winners as follows:

12 children from the Youth Age Group (1 Boy and 1 Girl by Area) from the winners of Club competitions, and 6 youngsters (13-15 years old, 1 per Area) from the winners of School Individual competitions.

These 18 ‘lucky winners' of the draws from the individual competitions will be invited to attend part of the 12th IAAF World Championships in Athletics in Berlin, Germany (August 2009 - *travel and full-board accommodation costs covered by the IAAF).

In addition, 6 Teams (13-15 years old, 1 per Area) from the winners of School Team competitions will be drawn and each shall receive one Kids' Athletics Kit for their school.

Yet it is not just these selected athletes who gain from the experience, as thousands of gifts such as T-Shirts, posters and pins are distributed to each competing Member Federation, with an IAAF World Athletics Day Diploma presented to all participants, helping to encourage enthusiasm for Athletics, the world's most international sport.

And as was the case in 2008, the IAAF has also asked as many of its Member Federations to seize the opportunity of the World Athletics Day 2009 to organise an exhibition of "Kids' Athletics" in clubs and/or schools in an effort to involve even younger children (7-12 year olds) in this project too.

An IAAF release