World Athletics Day is being celebrated globally on May 7 this year. This day is an opportunity to spread awareness about athletics. Over 169 countries across the world use this day to highlight the positive impact of athletics on individuals, communities, and society as a whole.
In this blog post, we will take a look at the history of World Athletics Day, its significance, and how athletics can contribute to creating a healthy future.
History of World Athletics Day
Soon after the 1912 Summer Olympics, in Stockholm, Sweden, the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) was founded as the world governing body for athletics. Rebranded as the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) in 2001. IAAF, introduced World Athletics Day in 1996 under the name “International Athletics Day,” to inspire young people to pursue athletics and become ambassadors for the sport. This day was later renamed “World Athletics Day” in 2006.
Each year, the IAAF chooses a theme for the day that reflects its dedication and commitment to advancing athletics and inspiring young individuals to take up the sport. Over the years, the themes have been diverse encompassing topics such as “Run, Jump, Throw – Play Athletics,” “Focus on Friendship,” “Developing Athletics,” and “Athletics for a better world”.
Significance of World Athletics DayAthletics, also called track and field sports comprises a group of sporting activities such as running, jumping, throwing, walking and cross-country running and racewalking. Here is why World Athletics Day is significant:
- World Athletics Day promotes the importance of sportsmanship and fair play. It is a day for young people to come out and participate in various athletic competitions and experience the values such as excellence, focus, teamwork, respect and discipline that come with being an athlete.
- On World Athletics Day, the world recognises the achievements of distinguished athletes. This not only promotes the idea that Athletics is for everyone, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, culture or ability, but it also serves as an inspiration for the future generations of athletes who aspire to become the next world champions and Olympic medallists.
- The activities organised on World Athletics Day provide a platform for young athletes to showcase their talents. It allows them to interact with coaches, trainers and other athletes. They learn different aspects of sports such as training discipline, nutrition and injury prevention.
The significance of World Athletics Day goes beyond just promoting athletics. It is also a day to have conversations about the role sports plays in one’s life in building a healthy lifestyle. By encouraging young people to take up athletics, World Athletics Day becomes significant to get people to start prioritizing physical fitness for a healthy life
Celebration of World Athletics Day
There are many ways in which one can celebrate World Athletics Day.
- Participate in athletic events: Schools, local sports clubs, and gyms can organise various athletic activities to celebrate World Athletics Day. This could give people an opportunity to get involved with and meet people passionate about sports.
- Explore sports through movies: Hosting a movie day to watch films, biographies or documentaries about athletes, and sports personalities is a great way to learn about the values of athletics and be inspired by them.
- Organise a sports camp: Invite coaches and athletes to talk about different aspects of sports in the camp. Topics can range from building strength to managing nutrition to preventing injuries in sports. Learning the history and values of athletics will help everyone understand the importance of athletics better.
- Organise a sports competition: Reserve a space in a local athletics club and organise a competition. The activities could range from running to, jumping to shot-put. Invite young adults to enrol on the activities and compete with one another. This will help them understand the sport as well as develop an interest in athletics.
Schools can encourage athletics early in students in several ways:
- Provide adequate facilities: Schools should offer students a variety of sports options at school. Create enough space for activities such as tracks, jumping, throwing etc.
- Organize sports events: Annual sports days, inter-school competitions, fests, and tournaments provide students with the opportunity to understand and participate in the activities that encompass athletics.
- Encourage participation in the event: Schools should reward and recognise outstanding athletic achievements by students as well as appreciate the participants for demonstrating teamwork and sportsmanship.
- Hire qualified staff for sports: Schools should hire qualified coaches who demonstrate experience and knowledge of athletics to coach and nurture students in the sport and help the school make sports a part of their culture and value system.
World Athletics Day promotes the sport of athletics and encourages people to stay active. It emphasizes the importance of inclusivity and diversity in the sport. Regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, culture, or ability, World Athletics Day aims to enable athletics as a core sport activity for students in schools. We at EuroSchool provide world-class sports facilities in partnership with our global partners to enable, develop and nurture our student’s talents and strengths in athletics. Through our ASPIRE program, we strive to create the right environment for students that supports them in learning varied skills including sports and athletics.