Monaco the Prize - World Athletics Day 2008
The IAAF’s annual worldwide festival of youth, which was inaugurated in 1996, has always been held on a designated weekend each year. However, while the coming weekend of Saturday 17 & Sunday 18 May 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 this year Federations have been given the option of holding their celebration at any time in the month of May if it suits their arrangements better.
In total, 147 of the 213 IAAF Member Federations have informed the sport’s world governing body that they will be taking part in this year’s project which involves Youth Age Group children from Clubs who were born in 1991-1992 (16-17 years old).
For the third 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 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 has again been very successful, with 133 of those IAAF Member Federations who have signed-up for the general World Athletics Day also committing themselves to the School element of the project which involves the ‘Minimes’ age group: Boys and Girls born in 1993-1994-1995 (13-15 years old).
This year as part of the new IAAF educational initiative 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 2008 Draw will determine the winners as follows:
12 Youth Age Group children (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’ will be invited to the Herculis Meeting in Monaco, which will be held on 29 July 2008, with their travel and full board accommodation costs for three days 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.
The IAAF has also asked as many of its Member Federations to seize the opportunity of the World Athletics Day 2008 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.