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23 Mar 2021

World Athletics unveils all-encompassing survey for 2022-30 grand plan

World Athletics, track and field's governing body, will create a World Plan to set a pathway for the future of the sport between 2022 and 2030, based on the results of two comprehensive worldwide surveys.

The process, which WA has termed a ‘global conversation’, began at the start of this week, and will take in the views of federations, athletes, coaches and other officials, fans, and commercial partners, to plan a roadmap for the next nine years. 

The first stage is a six-week period of consultation, during which the two surveys will be sent out - one for the member federations, and the other for all those other parties interested in the future direction of athletics.

The surveys will contain questions on topics including how athletics is perceived, its governance, fan engagement, partnerships and participation in the sport.

Sebastian Coe, WA’s president, said in an interview with Reuters: “This is a great moment to have this conversation to see where we are and how we can be more relevant…

“We need to hear the voices of all 214 members and our key stakeholder groups to develop a plan that fully represents our global aspirations for athletics and will help us to grow.”

WA has said the plan “will contain clear roles and responsibilities, timelines, measurable outcomes and resource and budget implications.”

It will “help to bring further significant and necessary changes and developments to the number one Olympic sport", the governing body has said.

The whole process is being handled by a World Plan Working Group, comprising seven members of the WA Council. Professional services consultant Deloitte will assist the Working Group.

A draft plan will be presented to the Council in mid-2021, and the aim is for a final plan to be distributed to the member federations for approval at the next World Athletics Congress, in November this year. 

WA reported a financial loss of $17.4 million for 2019, and is set for a further deficit across 2020 given the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the international calendar, which forced the postponement or cancellation of multiple top-tier World Athletics Series championships and Diamond League events last year, including the 2021 World Athletics Championships in Eugene in Oregon, USA which were put back to 2022 due to the Olympics' rescheduling.