World Athletics Day – 5th May

World Athletics Day – 5th May

World Athletics Day in 2021 will be celebrated on 5th May. The date is subjected to change every year as International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) decides the date every year, but the month remains the same which is May. The main aim of celebrating this day is to popularize sports among the youth and promote the sport through youth participation in clubs and schools.

The sport of athletics is an exclusive collection of sporting events that involve competitive running, jumping, throwing, and walking. The most common types of athletics competitions are track and field, road running, cross country running, and race walking. For youth, participating in sports may develop teamwork, leadership, self-confidence, self-discipline, and coping skills.

History of Athletics Day

World Athletics Day was first celebrated in 1996 organized by IAAF (International Amateur Athletic Federation) and was launched by Primo Nebiolo, former president of IAAF. “Those who follow our sport closely know that these championships were an important moment in our (IAAF) development,” reflected Nebiolo in 1998.

International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) was founded in Stockholm, Sweden on 17th July 1912. It was a governing body for the sport of field athletics and track. The first World Athletics Day was themed around the Centennial edition of the Olympic Games in Atlanta. International Amateur Athletic Federation was founded by 17 national athletic federations who saw the need for a governing authority, for an athletic program, for standardized technical equipment and world records.

The IAAF introduced Competition Awards in 1997, which offered prize money to successful athletes for the first time in the history of IAAF competitions to motivate and secure athletes financially. The IAAF has subsequently led the sports movement worldwide in the development and application of an extensive anti-doping program involving testing both in and out of competition.

From the winners of the event in 1997, the names of two boys and girls were drawn from each of the IAAF Continental Areas (Africa, Asia, Europe, Oceania, South America, North-Central America, and the Caribbean) and they were invited by the International Federation to attend the Atlanta Olympics. The idea was repeated in successive years and the lucky winners were invited to attend IAAF World Championships in Athens (1997) and Seville (1999) and the World Cup in Athletics (Johannesburg 1998).

Earlier it was exclusively for children who were members of clubs affiliated with the IAAF member federation, In recent years, the scope of the project has broadened to include the participation of school children in team competitions and has now become an important tool to promote the sport around the world. The main aim of celebrating this day is to increase public awareness of the need to educate youngsters in the practice of athletics.

Objectives of World Athletics Day

The goal of World Athletics Day is to establish a firm link between the youth, our sport, and environmental conservation. World Athletics Day is also being organized in close cooperation with the relevant national ministry in charge of school sport in each country, with activities aimed at children between 13 and 15 years old.

  • Promoting sports among the youngsters.

  • Enhance sports activities throughout the world.

  • Promote Athletics as the primary sport in schools and institutions.

  • Educating youngsters about the importance of sports.

  • Building a link between the youth, sport, and environmental conservation.

  • Promote active mobility.

  • Promotion of Gender Equality through Sport and Physical Activity.

Suggested Read: Important Days In May

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Simmi Kamboj

Simmi Kamboj is the Founder and Administrator of Ritiriwaz, your one-stop guide to Indian Culture and Tradition. She had a passion for writing about India's lifestyle, culture, tradition, travel, and is trying to cover all Indian Cultural aspects of Daily Life.