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UK Athletics

annual athletics g5 meeting undertaken 

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The annual meeting of the Athletics G5 – the association of the National Federations of France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy and Spain – held in Malaga, Spain, last weekend was the chance for a deep reflection on the status of the sport at the end of the Olympic & Paralympic season.

Presidents of FFA (Federation Francais d’athletisme, Berrnard Amsalem), DLV (Deutsche Leichtathletik Verband, Clemens Prokop), UKA (UK Athletics, CEO Niels De Vos), FIDAL (Federazione Italiana di Atletica Leggera, Alfio Giomi) and RFEA (Real Federacion Espanola de Atletismo, Jose Maria Odriozola) analysed some of the major challenges Athletics is facing from an ethical, organizational and commercial point of view.

As a result of this, common actions will be proposed to International Federations in the next few weeks around key areas, including integrity, change of nationalities and eligibility to compete and commercial sponsorships. Delegations of the five Federations also discussed the proposal of changes to the IAAF Constitution, which will be voted at the Extraordinary Congress of Monaco on Saturday 3rd December.

The President of European Athletics, Svein Arne Hansen, joined the last session of the meeting; a sincere appreciation was expressed by the group and by EA President to Jose Maria Odriozola and Bernard Amsalem, respectively President of RFEA and FFA, and to Frank Hensel, Director General of DLV, who will leave at the end of this season.

The meeting in Malaga also provided a forum to discuss research commissioned by Athletics G5 to Nielsen Sports (Repucom) on the sport in the five countries. Findings included Athletics as the second most interesting sport in the five territories according to the research (51% of preferences – the same result – was obtained by tennis), following football (65%) and before Formula 1 (49%), swimming (48%) and cycling (41%).

Walking (31%) is the most practiced sport activity in the territories of France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy and Spain, followed by the most recognizable athletics’ discipline: running/jogging (29%); then, fitness/aerobics (24%), football (15%), gymnastics (13%), road cycling (13%), mountain bike (11%), and athletics (the in-stadia format, 11%).

When asked about the image of Athletics, what emerged from the research was a wide array of positive attributes (disciplined 80%; dynamic 77%; technical 74%), while negative ones were lower down on responses. Unsurprisingly the most important mission the public attributes to the Federations, is the fight against doping (55% of the interviews indicates this as the highest priority.)