16 April 2015
Sergey Bubka, IAAF Vice President, said European Athletics plays special role for the global sport’s development hailing both historical traditions and the effective job done by National Federations and the EAA. Speaking at the EAA Congress in Bled, Slovenia, Bubka who is IAAF Presidency Candidate underlined the Europe’s contribution and potential for the future.
Bubka said, ‘Our beloved sport took its shape in Europe with first modern-like organized competitions are dated back to the end of XVIII century. The roots of Athletics are deep but the potential is enormous as well due to the future-oriented pro-active position of the National Federations and the EAA.
It is in Europe were the basic competition circuit gives athletes from all over the globe opportunity to compete on the high level on regular basis. Europe provides large number of very competent spectators and infrastructure at both elite and regular levels. It also has high quality coaches and competence in organizing athletics – experience which can be shared with other continents and NFs’.
Sergey Bubka congratulated Svein Arne Hansen who was elected as EAA President at the Congress giving his credit to retired president Hansjorg Wirz for his 16years committed service. Bubka said newly elected EAA President and European National Federations will have full support from the IAAF side.
Bubka met Slovenian President Borut Pahor discussing the cooperation between the government in different countries and the role of National Federation. President Pahor informed Mr Bubka about his decision to run half marathon soon, saying "I don’t have much time to prepare but I understand how important it is to be in good physical shape and to show the example for others to inspire them to run and be healthy’.
Mr Bubka also attended the Radovljica Primary School to witness the national running activities for the school kids. More than 12 000 students of 120 schools across Slovenia participated in the project. Bubka praised the Slovenian Federation led by Gregor Bencina, all the kids, their parents and coaches involved saying, ‘For me this is a proof of the NF’s commitment and role for the involvement of young people to sport. The IAAF should and will cooperate closer with NFs in their efforts making everything possible to help these initiatives.Our task is not only to support, but also to share the positive experience’.
Sergey Bubka added he was proud to see the athletics school managed by Olympic champion hammer thrower Primos Kozmus. The IAAF should engage with athletics’ stars promoting them as role models for the youth in their own countries and help athletes to share their knowledge and passion for the sport. He said ‘It was not an easy task for me back in the early 90ies to launch and run Sergey Bubka Sports Club and manage the ‘Pole Vault Stars‘ meeting. But I proved it is possible. Imagine how much more could be done if we use the full potential of our great Champions’.
Discussing the possibility of bringing hammer throw to IAAF Diamond League series with Primoz Kozmuz Bubka said he is a supporter of the idea. ‘The concern is about the damage of grass and spectators security but I believe the time has come to solve the problem. Every athletics discipline must be treated equally, there should be no compromise about that’.
Bubka who has officially launched his ‘Taking Athletics to the New Heights’ Program a week ago said he was happy his vision of the sport’s future corresponds with thoughts of the European athletics’ leaders and National Federations Presidents. ‘My message here at the EAA Congress is clear – European Athletics should and will strengthen its status and make new steps forward in terms of the development of new formats of athletics competitions and youth involvement. Europe has always been able open for the progress and innovations. I count on Europe which can contribute a lot to the regional partnership and cooperation being at the forefront of the so needed positive changes in society and in the sport of athletics’.