March 24, 2015
IAAF presidential candidate makes vision clear

Sebastian Coe, one of the IAAF vice-presidents, who is seeking to take over from the incumbent, Lamine Diack — current president of the world’s governing body for athletics — last Saturday, outlined his plans to local athletics, government and media personnel.{{more}}

A former British middle distance athlete, Coe, who from all reports is the man in pole position for the presidential race, projected, “Development sits at the heart of my vision… I want to create a development structure that is much more aware of what is taking place on the ground.”

Guest for the day of Team Athletics SVG and the National Olympic Committee St Vincent and the Grenadines, Coe, at the President’s Suite at the Arnos Vale Playing Field, declared: “The number one objective is to enable federations to deliver more effectively and for the IAAF to really support their programme, because they know better than we at the centre what it is going to attract for young people.”

Apart from Coe, former Ukrainian pole vault champion Sergei Bubka, who is also an IAAF vice-president, along with former Moroccan hurdler Nawal El Moutawakel, are those listed to face the ballots at the Congress set for Beijing, China, in August.

Plotting his strategy to get to the finish line of his mission, Coe proposed, “I want to create more competitions… If we are not about competitions and coaching, then we are probably not much else … We need to have more head to heads.”

Once elected to the top post, Coe plans to up the grants that can be accessed by some member federations of the IAAF.

“We have an administrative grant; it got reduced during the period of financial crisis … It got reduced because our resources had started to shrink …That sat at $20,000, it got reduced to 15; I am going to take it back straight up to 25,000 and have a review each year,” Coe related.

However, Coe underscored, “It wouldn’t go to every federation, but it would go to those federations most in need.”

Coe, who is campaigning under the theme, ‘Growing Athletics in a New Age,’ commented, “It is really important, but we have to more accurately target that; we got to be able to monitor it better and we’ve to really assess its outcomes at the end of that funding.

“We are not as wealthy as football, but we need to create more commercial opportunities in the sport… I am going to create a specialist commercial team in the headquarters at the IAAF, that can sit alongside our continental associations and our member federations, to help to create a stronger tier of competition and partnership with commercial outlets,” Coe, the current head of the British Olympic Committee advanced.

Coe, during his active career, has won four Olympic medals, inclusive of 1,500m wins at the 1980 and 1984 Games.(RT)