London 2017 announces Women in World Athletics programme | 10.11.2011
The London 2017 bid team has announced that it will launch a Women in World Athletics programme should it be awarded the right to stage the 2017 IAAF World Athletics Championships.
The decision over who will stage the event will be made by the IAAF Council in Monaco on Friday.
The proposed five-year programme would aim to inspire the most promising young women from the world of athletics to progress in leadership roles, especially as technical officials.
It would commence in May 2012 with a funding commitment of over $400,000 from the London 2017 organisers and will identify 50 of the most promising female technical officials and young leaders from across the athletics world, in partnership with the IAAF and its Member Federations.
Subsequently, 15 of these participants will be selected to officiate and volunteer at the 2017 World Athletics Championships should London be successful in its bid.
“Currently, too few officials and leaders in the sport are female, but by increasing those numbers and giving them technical skills, support and encouragement to drive development in their own athletics communities, the next generation of athletes will be supported both in competition and in training by a more diverse support network,” said Ed Warner, Chairman of the London bid team and UK Athletics.
“Not only do technical officials enable countries around the world to develop through hosting international competitions, but also act as leaders, role models and teachers within their own local communities.
“2017 would serve as the ultimate goal for the participants in this programme and we hope that the Women in World Athletics programme will encourage, motivate and inspire more women to progress careers in athletics,” he added.
Each individual will be assigned with an experienced female technical official or young leader from the UK to provide mentoring, support and share knowledge.
The programme will co-ordinate exchange visits across the five-year period, in addition to providing opportunities for participants to be involved in UK Athletics’ annual programme of events.
“I feel extremely passionate about inspiring more women to get involved in the sport and the Women in World Athletics initiative is an ideal way to motivate more female officials and leaders to learn the skills needed to develop athletics communities across the globe,” commented Canadian 100m hurdler Priscilla Lopes-Schliep, the 2008 Olympics Games bronze medallist who is also an official ambassador for London 2017.
“It would be a great accomplishment to see the first of the female officials come through the Women in World Athletics programme to participate in the 2017 event in London,” she added.