UK Athletics and UK Sport, with endorsement from the IAAF’s Athletics for a Better World programme, have launched an international athletics development programme linked to the IAAF World Championships London 2017. The programme, known as LEAP (Leadership and Excellence in Athletics Programme), aims to develop youth athletics in a number of countries around the world.
The programme will take place in ten different IAAF Member Federation countries and will introduce young people to athletics, develop their basic running, jumping and throwing abilities, and create a long term passion for the sport.
To ensure a long term impact of the programme, LEAP will also train Federation staff, school teachers and young leaders so that there will be increased athletics activity and ongoing delivery of athletics in the community.
The impact of LEAP can already be seen in Uganda where 14 project leaders have now trained over 1000 young leaders who will continue to deliver athletics activities long after the IAAF World Championships London 2017 have finished. Mozambique, Senegal, Azerbaijan and Chile have also received training.
UK Athletics Chairman Ed Warner said: “This project was a key part of the bid to host the IAAF World Championships London 2017 and will ensure that people are inspired to help the sport of athletics to grow across the world. It is great to see the work of LEAP already starting to have an impact and it will continue to grow as we build towards 2017.
“Our aim is to stage the best ever IAAF World Championships in 2017 and a big part of that will be the inspiration we create. LEAP ensures that athletics will develop as a direct result of the IAAF World Championships London 2017 and I’m excited about seeing the impact it can have.”
London 2017 Chair of Inspiration Dame Tessa Jowell said: “This is a great initiative which will help ensure that we spread the positive impact from 2017 to different countries around the world. It will hopefully inspire more young people to fall in love with the sport of athletics for life.”
UK Sport Chairman Rod Carr said: ““The UK has a proud tradition of delivering global sports development projects to build on the incredible success of London 2012.
“UK Sport is delighted to support this ambitious initiative which demonstrates how a global sporting event like the World Athletics Championships can play a key role in supporting the growth of sport and enrich thousands of lives.”