Bangkok, 11 August 2020 - The President of the Asian Athletics Association (AAA), Dahlan Al Hamad yesterday said that athletics in the continent will get stronger thanks to a comprehensive strategy developed by the Asian governing body.
During an online seminar, organised by the AAA, titled “Athletics in the eyes of the Media”, Dahlan said that AAA's strategy which is aimed at supporting the national federations in innovative ways, will serve the interest of all athletics members.
The President of the Olympic Council of Asia, Sheikh Ahmed Al Fahad Al Sabah, President of the International Athletics Federation, Lord Sebastian Coe, and the presidents and the secretaries of Asian federations, in addition to more than 200 journalists from various countries of the Asian continent took part in the webinar.
Al Hamad said that one of the AAA’s main missions today is to train and develop more Asian athletes to be champions on the global scene. Some unions have succeeded in doing so.
“As Asia has become a preferred sports centre for organizing global sporting events, we have the privilege of cooperating with these organisers to develop our Asian athletes.”
Al Hamad pledged to do his utmost to promote and ensure the advancement of Asian athletics in the continent, adding that the AAA play an essential role in the world of athletics.
“Asia has a population of more than 4 billion people, so it is our primary responsibility and vision to promote the development of athletics in the continent,” the AAA President said.
He referred to what the COVID-19 pandemic had caused during the past months, which led to the cancellation or postponement of many major events for the sake of the safety of the sport family.
"The time was used to carefully study the situation with our medical team and others to find a constructive solution," he said.
"One of the best solutions during this crisis was to initiate relevant training courses.
“Therefore, we were able to conduct many seminars and online meetings to achieve our development plan ... and we must agree that the epidemic has affected our way of life, but looking at the brighter side, it has also created opportunities in many ways.”
Speaking during the webinar, Coe, the President of Athletics' world governing body, said research has shown that throughout the lockdown, more people are exercising than before.
"Some research even say there is 80 per cent increase at the global exercise pattern," he said.
"Athletics is the main beneficiary because people are doing exercise through running or walking. That is a very big asset. We will not take it for granted but will try to build on it in the post pandemic period. We will be allowing more young people access to our sport," Coe said.
Participants in the seminar addressed a number of ideas on how to constructively identify various resources to make a real difference in coordinating sport through the media.