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IAAF President Sebastian Coe speaking at the Sport Business Summit in Abu Dhabi (Leaders) © Copyright


IAAF President Sebastian Coe has encouraged the world’s track and field athletes to express their personalities, inside and outside the stadium, to better promote the sport to new audiences.

Speaking at the Leaders’ Sport Business Summit in Abu Dhabi today, Coe said fans connected to a sport through its athletes and the next generation of stars would need to embrace the new technology that the IAAF is planning to introduce to its World Athletics Series events to bring fans closer to the action.

“Your passport as a competitor is clearly your performance and your consistency of performance but the ability to take a step to the next level… you need a personality, you need something to say when it matters,” Coe told an audience of global sports leaders.

“I cringe a little when I see competitors who have got so much to say, have mastered really complex coaching systems, have focused and brought a level of expertise to what they are doing, but who don’t really think it’s important to be able to communicate that more broadly.”

Coe said that agents were sometimes too protective of athletes, to the detriment of the fans and the wider sport.

He said the new technology that sports, including athletics, were bringing into the presentation of competition would make athletes more accessible to the audience.

“Sometimes the technology that brings those competitors more intimately into the lives of the young audiences that we’re all trying to chase at the moment means that some of it is invasive,” he said.

“Some of it will mean having… cameras a little bit closer to the start of the 100m. Sometimes you will want to do things that allow access.

“It was said to me by one of the great communicators of our generation that what people are really interested in are great things about little people and little things about great people. And you really do need to bring some of those things into the lives of our audiences.”

At the same time, the IAAF is planning to make its World Athletics Series events more accessible to mass participation, to strengthen the link between recreational runners and the elite.

“If you move, you are an athlete,” Coe said.

The mass race at the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships Valencia 2018 (Jean-Pierre Durand)

Having guided the sport through an extensive governance reform over the past three years to enshrine transparency and integrity in the organisation, and hold all office-bearers to high ethical standards, he said he was looking forward to the next stage of his presidency.

“The fun bit begins, but probably the tougher bit, which is how do you then grow the sport, how do you remain exciting, attractive, have traction with younger audiences and that’s not something that’s going to happen if you sit there and think your sport will be forever loved,” he said.

“It’s not going to work like that. Usain Bolt is not enough any longer to sell our sport. We will sell our sport through participation and engagement.”

Coe said the introduction of a mass participation race at the World Half Marathon Championships had turned the event into “a festival of sport” and he hoped the mass participation races at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships Aarhus 2019 on March 30 would have the same impact.

He also foreshadowed the introduction of a participation component to the IAAF Diamond League in future years.

“It’s really important that you make sure that your sport is not focusing just on the top 30 or 40 competitors,” he said. “It has to reach out into the community.”


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Rheeza Grant Interview - August 2019 - 2019 Pan Am Games, Lima, Peru

Nicholas Paul of Trinidad and Tobago celebrates after winning men's sprint gold at the Pan American Games ©Getty Images

2019 Pan Amer­i­can Games

Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) President Brian Lewis has praised his nation's athletes after the country recorded their best medal performance at the Pan American Games in Lima.

Colin Murray |

2019 Pan Amer­i­can Games

A few fans stopped me to ask what I thought about the West In­dies' per­for­mance so far in the se­ries against In­dia in both the T20's and the ODIs.

DOUBLE GOLD MEDALLIST! Nicholas Paul of T&T celebrates beating compatriot Phillip Njisanel, also of T&T, to win the gold medal in the track cycling men's sprint final at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru on August 3. (AP)

2019 Pan Amer­i­can Games

The Pan Amer­i­can Games closed on Sun­day but T&T is still cel­e­brat­ing its his­toric per­for­mance, claim­ing 13 medals, the most ever.

I happen to be initially browsing but having caught my attention, I then perused thoroughly, the 2018 Oxford Business Group country report on Trinidad and Tobago.  There were a number of perespectives, snap shots and overviews written. If one wanted to get a well researched and documented overview of the economic and business landscape within the twin Island Republic.

31 July is CANOC day. A message was sent out. That it barely registered or caught the attention of sport stakeholders in the Caribbean is an opportunity not a slight. CANOC must embrace the opportunity to heighten awareness and engage in enhanced outreach to provide information about the organisation.

It is cold in Lima, Peru, host city of the 2019 Pan Am Games. In fact, it is winter here in the South American nation.

With the one-year countdown to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games officially underway, the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee, (TTOC) has announced that TTO athletes will benefit from a pre-games training camp at the Japan Athlete Training Center Osumi, in Osaki Town, Kagoshima Prefecture, as part of Japan’s Host Town Initiative.

Dylan Carter

Tokyo 2020

National swimmer Dylan Carter has qualified for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan after reaching the semi-final in the 100m freestyle at the 2019 FINA World Aquatics Championships in South Korea.

In this file photo, (from L) TT's Keston Bledman, Emmanuel Callender, Richard Thompson and Marc Burns celebrate after winning silver in the men's 4×100m relay final at the National Stadium during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games on August 22, 2008.

Tokyo 2020

TEAM TTO has been assured of a gold medal at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. Twelve years after their second place finish at the 2008 Beijing Games, sprinters Richard Thompson, Marc Burns, Emmanuel Callender and Keston Bledman will receive their 4x100m relay gold.


Cartan Global         Michael Johnson Performance Puma