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Coe Urges BAA To Apply For IAAF Funding

CALISTUS KOLANTSHO
IAAF President, Sebastian Coe was on a two-day visit to the country PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO
The president of International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), Lord Sebastian Coe has urged Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) to apply for Olympic Athletics dividend.

The Olympic Athletics Dividend was launched in 2015 and it offers $25, 000 (P250, 000) every year to each national federations to assist their development.

Coe was in the country for a two-day visit that ended yesterday. He said the aim of his visit was to map a way for the future of athletics in the country. He said the largest portion of funding is from broadcast rights.

“A large part of what the International Olympic Committee (IOC) goes to market with all those broadcasts right is dependent on the quality of athletes. Athletics is the number one Olympics sport and that is what people want to see. I felt that it is only right that member Federations benefited from those rights,” Coe said.

He said it is their athletes that are performing and attracting the interest of broadcasters and giving IOC a better platform to sell the rights. He said he wanted to redirect that benefit to the Federations.

He said funding can be used for development programmes and were increased after the first year to include coach education, anti-doping education and infrastructure development.

“I encourage every Federation to apply for the Olympic Athletics Dividend. It has been running for the past

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three years and we left with one year. It can be used in a range of issues,” he said.

He said there is always talk about world-class athletes without talking about world-class coaches. Coe said to find raw talent is to have good coaches.

“The IAAF can learn from the best practices of the federations.

Learning is not always a one-way street. We discussed a range of issues that would assist in the growth of the sport not only in this country but globally,” he said.

Coe said the biggest challenge in sport is attracting the attention of young people. He said young people should view athletics as a way of life.

Meanwhile, Coe said working with the government is always a challenge in every sport. He said government is important in athletics because they fund infrastructure development. Coe said his role is to make sure that governments are engaged in his visits to every country.

During his stay, Coe met with Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development officials, the Botswana National Olympic Committee. He also has an opportunity to witness some young athletes doing time trials at UB stadium.



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