European Athletics Interim President Dobromir Karamarinov launched the Leading European Athletics Forward in Challenging Times policy paper in his address at the start of the final day of the 2020 European Athletics e-Convention on Friday (16).
The paper sets out his vision of the short and medium term measures required as our sport responds after one of the most challenging year's it has ever faced due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The measures cover four key areas:
- Protect 2021 European Athletics Events
- Support Member Federations
- Build on the Core Strength of European Athletics
- Lead Recovery through Innovation
Leading European Athletics Forward in Challenging Times is available here.
“We know that our sport, like all sports, has been impacted by this terrible virus but it is possible to return to live competitions in a controlled way. My main goal is to ensure the delivery of European elite-level events and championships in 2021,” commented Karamarinov.
“We have had detailed discussions with the European Athletics Medical and Anti-Doping Commission on the topic of coronavirus and how to return to events safely, and specifically in reference to the European Athletics Indoor Championships where earlier this week the Executive Board approved our Covid-19 Sanitary Plan for Torun 2021.
“To protect our events we must work closely with our own COVID-19 Taskforce and also the 2021 Local Organising Committees, be led by the science and review the unique measures specifically suitable for athletics events by working closely with World Athletics.
“From the various discussions I have had with Member Federations, I know many are experiencing difficulties – including financial, during this period. However, I want to make it clear that we at European Athletics will continue to support them in any way we can and we have increased funding for our Member Federation Support Programmes.
“As we begin to plan for the future, it is important to remember how strong our core product is. Despite the challenges we have faced this year, European Athletics remains one of the strongest continental federations in world sport.
“My aim in the medium term is to have a stronger athletics landscape in Europe. This does not mean creating new or hybrid events or disciplines; it is more about finding innovative ways that European Athletics can help lead our Member Federations towards recovery.
“I am also keen to explore how innovation can help the European Athletics brand to continue its progress and increase the popularity of the sport.
“We are not afraid to try fresh approaches to attract new audiences to our sport, here I think of Dynamic New Athletics (DNA) as a good example,” concluded Karamarinov.