The IAAF's annual worldwide festival of youth, the IAAF World Athletics Day, remains as popular as ever, with 161 of the 213 IAAF Member Federations requesting to participate in 2010.
The IAAF World Athletics Day when it originated in 1996 was exclusively planned for youngsters who were members of clubs affiliated to IAAF Member Federations, but in recent years the scope of the project has broadened to include the participation of school children in individual and team competitions.
With the addition of these two new categories, the World Athletics Day has become a complete and important event which annually promotes our sport around the world.
The goal of this year's edition of the IAAF World Athletics Day is to firmly establish an important link between the youth, our sport, and environmental conservation.
Upon the recommendation of the IAAF Sustainable Development Commission, Member Federations have been strongly urged to implement the IAAF Green Project in association with the IAAF World Athletics Day, in order to help build the awareness of the youth on issues concerning sustainable development and environment protection.
Member Federations are being encouraged to organise a number of activities including tree plantings, inviting their athletes to take part in the protection of the environment at training and competition sites, and seeking the cooperation of local organisations specialised in ecological matters to assist in promoting sport and the environment.
The IAAF World Athletics Day 2010 will be held in May, preferably the weekend of Saturday 15 & Sunday 16 May, and involves Youth Age Group children from Clubs who were born in 1993-1994 (16-17 years old).
For the fifth 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 age group for these Schools activities is Boys and Girls born in 1995-1996-1997 (13-15 years old), with the team element involving 6 children per side.
There will be no draw this year but the IAAF will be sending parcels of promotional items (T-Shirts, pins, posters, diplomas) to each Member Federation who announced their participation by the deadline (21 February 2010).
There will also be the usual financial grant credited to all who submit their results and reports on time (31 May 2010).
All those Member Federations involved have also been encouraged to seize the opportunity to organise a "Kids' Athletics" exhibition in clubs and/or schools for the 7-12 year olds.
Are you organizing WAD 2010 events in your country or school? Let's hear from you. Have your say below and send details, photos and videos of the event to contactus [at] athleticsafrica.com