The four-year plan features “innovative and creative ideas to drive growth” in athletics

World Athletics has unveiled a new four-year strategic plan for the sport, with a vision of using “the power and accessibility of athletics and its athletes” to create “a healthier and fitter world”.

On Wednesday three online meetings were held between the sport’s global governing body and its 214 member federations as they discussed the direction athletics will take over the next four years and the short-term challenges and opportunities the sport has as the world begins to emerge from the coronavirus pandemic lockdown.

“Our head office may have been closed for 11 weeks but we have not been idle,” said World Athletics president Sebastian Coe, who chaired the meetings.

“We have used that time to continue to develop our strategy to grow athletics. A huge amount of work has been put into developing our four-year strategic plan, led by our CEO Jon Ridgeon, and with input and involvement from all at HQ, our executive board, our area presidents, commission chairs and commissions.

“This is an exceptional body of work that brings together all the great things we do as a global sport body with a laser sharp focus on doing it better, and includes some innovative and creative ideas to drive growth in our sport,” he added. “It is exactly the type of roadmap our sport needs to bring together all our stakeholders with a single vision, mission and clear priorities.

“Over the next few months we have an unprecedented opportunity on the back of the increased physical activity of people in lockdown. The latest research from runrepeat.com shows that exercise has increased 88% during lockdown and running and walking has topped the tables. We need to inspire these people to continue the habits they have learned and we will with our own campaigns but also by embracing campaigns that many others in our sport are driving.”

World Athletics says its mission is to:

  • Grow the sport and make it relevant in people’s lives and the lives of their communities.
  • Inspire by creating globally appealing and accessible competitions, events, and activities so our talented athletes can entertain and inspire the world.
  • Lead by being the best example of a well-governed sports federation taking brave leadership decisions and valuing partnerships that deliver athletics around the world.

The governing body also outlined aims relating to participation and events, partnerships, people and fans.

“By 2024 our aim is to grow our broadcast reach, double our digital following and create a database of 1 million known fans who actively choose to connect and engage with us and our sport,” said World Athletics.

The full strategic plan is set to be available by the end of June.

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On Wednesday World Athletics also released an updated Olympic qualifying process and more on that can be found here.

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