2020 European Athletics Young Leaders Forum gets underway online

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe
European Athletics

Sebastian Coe speaking at the 2020 European Athletics Young Leaders Forum

The 2020 European Athletics Young Leaders Forum got underway this week with two online sessions on Tuesday and Thursday evening involving more than 90 participants, with every eligible European Athletics Member Federation represented as well as a number of Paris 2020 volunteers.

Normally, the Forum is held in conjunction with the European Athletics Championships, offering the participants the chance to meet in person their counterparts, but with the coronavirus pandemic necessitating the cancellation of the Paris 2020 European Athletics Championships an alternative method of bringing together the continent’s leading young off-track talents was found.

The seventh edition of the Forum - co-organised with the Paris 2020 Local Organising Committee and supported by the European Union's Erasmus+ Programme - got underway on Tuesday with an introductory addresses from the World Athletics President Sebastian Coe and Head of the European Commission Sport Unit Yves Le Lostecque and then moved onto presentations from experts about crisis management – an appropriate topic in the current climate – before concluding with a question-and-answer session.

The three keynote speakers in this session were Fiona Olivier, who lectures on international communications at La Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris, former Paris 2020 CEO Laurent Boquillet and International Olympic Committee Sport Director Kit McConnell.

Fiona Olivier speaking about crisis management at the 2020 European Athletics Young Leaders Forum
European Athletics
Fiona Olivier speaking about crisis management at the 2020 European Athletics Young Leaders Forum

The second two-hour session this week, on Thursday, had as its focus sport and citizenship and discussed the social role of sport in Europe, looking at the link between sport and citizenship in Europe and identifying the current added value of sport.

The discussion was moderated by Jonathan Hill, a trustee of the Sport and Citizenship organisation, and a special guest on the debating panel was three-time European champion and former pole vault world record holder Renaud Lavillenie.

The participants also had a presentation of European Athletics’ I Run Clean by project leader and European Athletics Council member Jean Gracia.

This year’s forum continues with further sessions next Tuesday and Thursday with the focus switching to the participants making presentations on a series of topics – ‘How to stay involved in athletics in the long-term?’ ‘Which actions to organize a green event, as environmentally friendly and sustainable as possible?’ ’What is the future evolution of athletics, post-COVID-19?’ ‘DNA and its future evolution’ – as well imparting their own experiences on running national and pan-European initiatives.

For more information on the Young Leaders Forum, please contact Yannick Morard in the European Athletics Development Department: yannick.morard@european-athletics.org