The World Athletics Day is organized by the IAAF (International Amateur Athletic Federation). All events and expenses are sponsored by the IAAF. World Athletics Day was celebrated for the first time in 1996. World Athletics Day is celebrated on any chosen date in the month of May every year. National authorities for school sports are roped in to promote sports in schools.
World Athletics Day Purpose:
World Athletics Day is celebrated world-wide to:
- Popularize sports among the youth
- Promote Athletics as the primary sport in schools and institutions
- Encourage and introduce new talent and youngsters in the field of athletics
World Athletics Day Activities and Events:
- A grand motivational prize is announced for the lucky draw winner among the winning national youth athletes
- The grand prize usually involves a fully-paid visit to an international sports meet held anywhere in the world
- Gifts such as posters, T-shirts, pins are distributed among the participating member federations.
- An IAAF World Athletics Day Diploma is presented to all participating athletes.
- Programs are conducted to encourage the promotion of Athletics as an International Sport.
- Championship events are organized in each category for pre-determined age groups.
- The winners of championships get an opportunity to enter the field of Athletics and take it up as a profession.
- The competitions and events are targeted at youth aged 17 or lower.
World Athletics Day:
- This year the events are hosted by Ocean Athletics Track and Field Club.
- World Athletics Day 2008 will be held on May 7.
- The World Athletics Day event will be presided over by White Rock Mayor Judy Forster.
- Special invitees for the event include Linda Hepner, Councillor for Surrey.
- The ceremony will be announced and conducted by Thelma Wright and Lynn Kanuka.
- The High School Invitation Meet will feature competent athletes from Lower Mainland in all events.
- A special event- The Home Depot Community Kid’s Sprint Races will also be held in the evening.
Here are a few examples of the lucky-draw prizes:
1998 : Return ticket to Johannesburg, accommodation, meals and entry ticket to the meet
2007: IAAF World Championships in Athletics in Osaka, Japan from 25 Aug-2 Sept, 2007.
2008: Invitation to attend Hercules Meeting in Monaco on July 29, 2008.
World Athletics Day is now over ten years old and has met with the following successes:
- Encouragement of Athletics in schools in IAAF member nations.
- Discovery of new talent and youth in the field of Athletics.
- Motivation of young athletes through prizes and incentives.
- Offering professional opportunities to young athletes.