Forty-one volunteer ambassadors representing six European Athletics Member Federations took part in a three-day training camp in Berlin last weekend (1-3 October) to prepare them to conduct local anti-doping workshops in their own countries.
Delayed by more than a year due to the pandemic, the camp was a major milestone for the I Run Clean project, which is led by European Athletics and the Paris-based Agency for the Development of Athletics in Europe (ADAE) and co-funded by the European Commission’s Erasmus+ programme.
The focus of the camp curriculum was on skills required to lead workshop discussions with athletes, coaches and parents about the threat of doping, values and good decision making.
Special presentations were made on communications by Fiona Olivier of La Sorbonne Nouvelle University of Paris, impact research by Andrea Chirico of the Sapienza University of Rome and the global fight against doping by Aditya Kumar of the Athletics Integrity Unit in Monaco.
Prior to the camp, the ambassadors were required to complete four two-week cycles of background reading assignments and optional online discussions.
“Having met many of them personally, I am sure we have a really strong team of young ambassadors who are committed to the fight against doping and to taking the I Run Clean message to the grassroots of our sport,” said European Athletics Council member and ADAE president Jean Gracia.
“After this very intensive and challenging summer of learning we are expecting that they will deliver a total of about 100 test workshops in the coming six months before we bring them back together to discuss their experiences and make any needed adjustments to the workshop design.”
The three-year (2020-2022) I Run Clean project is designed to expand the scope and reach of European Athletics’ I Run Clean programme. In addition to the ambassador-delivered local workshops, the project will create new anti-doping e-learning modules for coaches and parents to supplement the existing modules for athletes.
The project team includes the athletics federations of Bulgaria, Estonia, France, Germany, Italy and Spain, where the test workshops will be delivered, as well as La Sorbonne Nouvelle, the Sapienza University of Rome and the University of Milan.
Two graduates of La Sorbonne’s Master’s degree programme in international project management, Lara Hamdan and Marie Lesimple, joined the ambassadors at the camp to manage social media and other communications aspects.
A workshop on the I Run Clean project for Member Federation leaders will be held at next week’s European Athletics Convention in Lausanne. To find out more in the meantime visit www.iruncleanproject.eu. To get your I Run Clean certificate visit www.irunclean.org.