Coe and Edwards at European Congress, from Inside the Games, Notes by Larry Eder

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The time for change in our sport is now. In Europe, Sir Sebastian Coe and Jonathan Edwards, world record holder at the triple jump, BBC reporter, are among the key players invited to the European Athletics Convention.

In the U.S. we have Doug Logan traveling around the country, meeting with some of our sports' leaders, meeting with various associations to discuss his plans for USATF. The most recent comments from him, on his blog was about the panel to consider the High Performance programs at USATF.

I am holding my comments on the the new ad hoc committee. Lots of stars there, but without, quite frankly, people who can think past their own self interests, USATF will never grow and prosper.

It is sad, with 1.4 million high school athletes, 3 million plus in track and xc programs in junior highs, and 200,000 in colleges, track & field has the best farm programs in the world. It has been the work of individual coaches, concerned athletes and sponsors ( companies such as Brooks, Reebok, adidas, New Balance, Nike all support training groups around the country ), Running USA, future thinking members of USATF that U.S. distance fortunes are changing.

The world is getting better. We have to stop blaming the U.S. getting beat because the blame is not always because of some suggested pharmaceutical use. Many times, we are out-coached, out-thought tactically and just plain out performed.

We must consider the whole picture, from training camps that truly make sense for the U.S. team-places that allow the athletes to unwind, and have something to do besides overtrain- to the timing of the Olympic Trials. Our Trials are like giving the U.S. athletes two Olympic events in one year!

All of these things, plus putting the US track & field team on consistent TV in non Olympic years mean that the real players have to be brought together-agents, meet directors, athletes, media, sponsors.

Over the past two decades so called Sport meetings have been held, and major players have been excluded, sometimes because they had the wrong logo on their clothes or worked for the wrong sponsor. If this sport is to prosper, then tough questions have to be asked, a true assessment of our assets and a list of the self defeating actions that our sport does each and every day need to be considered.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with the one step (stealing a cuplet from Lao Tse)..our sport needs to begin the process of re inventing itself..

Coe and Edwards among greats attending first European Athletics Convention

Date: 17/10/2008
OCTOBER 17 - SEBASTIAN COE (pictured) and Jonathan Edwards are among 372 key decision makers attending the first European Athletics Convention, which begins in Amsterdam today.

Coe, the double Olympic 1500 metres champion, will deliver a key-note speech as the European Athletics Association (EAA) announce details of their new Strategy for the future which Edwards, the world triple jump record holder, has played a full part as a member of the EAA's ruling Council.

Coe, the chairman of London 2012 and the vice-president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), told insidethegames: "This is an opportunity for the sport in Europe to address some of the issues facing it in the build-up to the London Olympics and I hope that to play a full part in helping them to do that."

The Convention programme has been expanded to replace what was formerly known as the “Calendar Conference” and is packed with worthwhile activities and forums, culminating with the European Athletics Awards dinner tomorrow night.

Hansjörg Wirz, the president of the EAA, said: “Primarily, we want to add more content and more substance to our Member Federations and offer additional opportunities for education, networking and socialising along with the usual activities.

"Secondly, we will offer a much better platform for the media and sponsors, especially in light of being able to attract the top European stars on an annual basis.

“Since my election at the Congress in Cannes in April 2007, we have put a lot of work into our new strategy and I am very happy with the outcome of which we will announce details at Saturday’s press conference."

Please check out www.insidethegames.com


Runblogrun.com encourages you to check out the sites of Shooting Star Media, inc. (www.shootingstarmediainc.com): American Track & Field (www.american-trackandfield.com), Athletes Only (www.atf-athlete.com), California Track & Running News (www.caltrack.com), MIssouri Runner & Triathlete (www.morunandtri.com), Latinos Corriendo(www.latinoscorriendo.com), Coaching
Athletics Quarterly (www.coachingathleticsq.com), and USATF Fast Forward (www.usatf.org). All of the above magazine websites can be found at RunningNetwork.com (www.runningnetwork.com).

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