Without a doubt, the main foundation stone of the Athletics' World Plan is a desire to make athletics the base sport for young people within school programmes all over the world.
Reaching this 9-15 year-old age group is certainly an ambitious plan, but with the support and hard work of the IAAF's partners, it is also becoming a reality.
In the past five months, activities related to the IAAF's Kids' Athletics and School and Youth programmes have literally criss-crossed the globe, from Australia to the Arabian Peninsula, from Spain to Russia and from Haiti to Algeria, Egypt and Uganda.
Proof, if any was needed, that athletics is continuing to develop as a worldwide sport and that concrete initiatives to spread the excitement and values of athletics are reaching youngsters and those who educate them!
· SPAIN: The Spanish Athletics Federation launched the first Championships for 13/15 year olds in January 2010. This is a new programme for schoolchildren between 13 and 15 years of age, consisting of competitions by school teams and the feedback so far is extremely positive.
· ALGERIA: Determined to implement the IAAF Kids' Athletics Programme in all the country's regions, the Algerian Athletics Federation has recently purchased 60 kits for Kids Athletics.
· RUSSIA: As part of our plan to organise seminars focused on organising competitions for the 13-15 age group, which aims to build on the Kids' Athletics programme and provide a transition from athleticism to athletics, the IAAF is planning to organise training seminars in each of our nine IAAF Regional Development Centres.
The second seminar is set to take place at the RDC Moscow from 26 to 30 May 2010. 17 participants have been invited representing 13 Member Federations from Central and Eastern Europe.
A specific set of equipment has been designed for this age group including special throwing implements, transportable pits, light hurdles, etc.
· UGANDA: The Ministry of Education & Sports of Uganda and the Uganda Athletics Federation (UAF) has agreed to sign a Convention with the IAAF in order to implement Kids' Athletics Programme in primary schools throughout the country.
As was the case with the Conventions signed in Morocco and Senegal-in cooperation with different Institutions-this agreement ensures that obligations are shared.
The IAAF normally provides technical training: 22 Kids' Athletics Instructors should be involved; each core Primary Teacher College should be represented by one participant.
The objective is to use the multiplier effect by "training the trainers" who will then be in a position to train others at local level, in order to build up large numbers of competent instructors.
To support the educational process, the IAAF provides all the requisite documents and educational materials for the training courses, as well as experts' consulting skills.
· HAITI: In an effort to help reconstruction efforts in the devastated Caribbean nation, 10 kits of Kids Athletics are now on their way to Port de Prince. The IAAF has also agreed to support training courses for Kids Athletics' instructors.
· EGYPT: The Second IAAF CECS Level I Course took place at the Faculty of Physical Education, Menofia University - Sadat City - Egypt.
Following the official Agreement to integrate the IAAF School & Youth Programme in the curriculum of the University in March 2009, a second educational course was completed on 18th May 2010 with the involvement of 22 participants.
The first seminar of the 13-15 age group training programme was also held in Cairo RDC (14-18 Feb.) with 22 Lecturers coming from 14 Arabic speaking countries.
· OMAN: The National Federation has decided to implement the IAAF Kids' Athletics Programme and has also organised a Coaches' Education and Certification Level I Course with the participation of 20 local candidates.
· OCEANIA: The IAAF Regional Development Centre for Oceania, based in the Gold Coast, Australia, is currently hosting a CECS Level I Lecturers Course involving 14 participants from 7 countries in the region (TGA, NZL, AUS, PNG, FIJ, PYF and SOL).
The newly trained lecturers will then return home to implement the School & Youth programmes in their respective territories.