Seb Coe speaks to IAAF staff: " Athlete centred and here to serve its member federations" from, with comments from Larry Eder


SebCoe91415.jpgSeb Coe speaking to IAAF staff, 14 September 2015, photo from Getty Images for IAAF

Seb Coe comes to the IAAF leadership at a time that is highly critical for the sport. With the constant bombardment of media, some well-meaning and some, ill-informed, the sport of athletics is under scrutiny like never before.

Even those who consider themselves the biggest fans and supporters of the sport are concerned. Seb Coe has to manage the sport through these minefields on a daily basis. He will be challenged, attacked, ridiculed and he will need to keep his cool.

The truth is, Seb Coe is right. He was made for this job. He was born for this job. HIs skill set, developed from his Olympic experiences, to his athletic development, to his time in Parliment, to his time managing the London 2012 effort will all be called on.

There are times that Seb Coe, for the best of the sport, will have to call issues in the past into question, and break with that past. There are times that Seb Coe, for the best of the sport, will have to find a way to explain the challenges of enforcing an effective drug testing policy while living in a modern world of European law, American and English jurisprudence.

And he will have to do it with a sense of humor, a smile, and a thoughtful discussion.

There will also be times that Seb Coe may have to say, " I do not know, or I do not have an answer right now, let me get back to you."

And, get back to the person.

All skills that Seb Coe possesses in droves, but all skills that will be required each and every day that he manages our amazing and complex sport.

At RunBlogRun, the Running Network and Fortius Media Group, we wish Seb Coe and his fine staff the best of luck.

Our sport needs strong leadership in these exciting times.


Newly elected IAAF President Sebastian Coe today met the entire IAAF HQ staff in Monaco. The gathering took place at the association's new offices which are situated on Quai Antoine, Port Hercules, Monaco.

"Not only am I happy to be here, I'm relieved," said Coe, who took office as IAAF President on Monday 31 August. "The last year has been a great test of character for all candidates for IAAF positions, whether president, council, committees and commissions. Today is one of the proudest days of my life.

"I have only had five predecessors as president, each one making an indelible mark on our sport.

"The election has been a good process. It has given the member federations the chance to decide what sport they want. I have flown 778,000km since Christmas, meeting and listening to our member federations. I'm better prepared to serve this sport having gone through that journey.

"The IAAF is here to serve its member federations. We must be a member-federation-focused organisation at all times. They are our strength.

"I see a very bright future for athletics. To deliver this future we must ensure we are open and transparent, that we are relevant and exciting to young people.

"My job is to remove all inhibitors in this organisation so that you (IAAF staff) can do the best work of your life. So that together we can deliver a world class organisation which has respect across the sporting landscape. The IAAF must be a template for best practise and most importantly athlete centred.

"This is a dream come true to be able to shape a sport. We should wake up each morning excited to serve, knowing we have the greatest job in the world. We should be very proud that we are working in this sport. It also needs to be fun. I want people to fall in love with athletics for all the reasons we did.

"The first steps are the review of the structures and resources in Monaco. We must ensure we are an organisation fit for purpose.

"Two members of our senior management team are already known, Nick Davies will be the Director of the President's Office and Huw Roberts will serve as the IAAF's senior counsel. Huw is leading a review of our constitution and corporate governances as part of our modernisation process."

Seb Coe concluded his address by reminding the staff of the Council's endorsement of his proposal to appoint Sergey Bubka as Senior Vice President, reiterating that "my object as president is to bring the athletics family together".


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