Seb Coe has today (20 June) called for a greater focus on creating and supporting strong regional competitions to enhance Member Federation development and create new opportunities for athletes.
Speaking from Bulgaria where Seb Coe is attending the European Athletics Team Championships 2nd League, Coe also paid tribute to European Athletics which has recently agreed to provide a support package for a new competition to be organised by the Small States of Europe in the Olympic year, starting in 2016.
Seb Coe said:
“It is especially important for smaller nations and their athletes to have more opportunities to compete at international events given that they are often not able to field large teams at the Olympic Games or IAAF World Championships. By creating strong regional championships that cater for both major and developing athletics nations, you provide athletes with international level experience and a clear route map for top level competition outside of their own borders. This is a win-win for the athletes, their Member Federations and for growing interest in the sport in emerging nations.
“I very much endorse the recent news by European Athletics which is to provide support for a new competition to be organised by the Small States of Europe in the Olympic year, starting in 2016. This weekend we will see 47 teams compete in the European Team Championships across four different tiers, providing vital experience and focus, especially for smaller athletics nations. I certainly want to look at this model and see what more the IAAF can do to support and build stronger regional championships across all our Areas if I am elected IAAF President.”