The 2020 European Athletics Young Leaders Forum got underway this week with two online sessions on Tuesday and Thursday evening involving participants from across Europe nominated by their national federations.

Normally, the Forum in conjunction with the European Athletics Championships, offering the participants the chance to meet in person their counterparts, but with the coronavirus pandemic necessitating the cancellation of the Paris 2020 European Athletics Championships and alternative method of bringing together the continent’s leading young off-track talents.

The seventh edition of this Forum got underway on Tuesday with an introductory address from the World Athletics President Sebastian Coe and then moved onto three presentations from experts about crisis management – an appropriate topic in the current climate – before concluding with a question-and-answer session.

The second two-hour session this week, on Thursday, had as its focus sport and citizenship and discussed the social role of sport in Europe, looking at the link between sport and citizenship in Europe and identifying the current added value of sport.

The discussion was moderated by Jonathan Hill, a trustee of the Sport and Citizenship organisation, and a special guest on the debating panel was three-time European champion and former pole vault world record holder Renaud Lavillenie.

The participants also had a presentation of European Athletics’ I Run Clean by project leader and European Athletics Council member Jean Gracia.

This year’s forum continues with further sessions next Tuesday and Thursday with the focus switching to the participants making presentations on a series of topics – ‘How to stay involved in athletics in the long-term?’ ‘Which actions to organize a green event, as environmentally friendly and sustainable as possible?’ ’What is the future evolution of athletics, post-COVID-19?’ ‘DNA and its future evolution’ – as well imparting their own experiences on running national and pan-European initiatives.

For more information on the Young Leaders Forum, please contact Yannick Morard in the European Athletics Development Department: yannick.morard@european-athletics.org

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