International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) introduced World Athletics Day in order to boost participation in athletics among youngsters. World Athletics Day falls under IAAF’s social responsibility project ‘Athletics for a Better World’. It is observed to make people aware of the various health issues and to promote physical fitness. Read to know 2020 date and more.
World Athletics Day is annually celebrated on May 7. However, the date is subjected to change as IAAF decides the date every year, but the month remains the same which is May. In 2019, World Athletics Day was observed on May 7 and the same is said to be the date for 2020, but the official confirmation is yet to be made.
The World Athletics Day was celebrated in 1996 for the first time. Primo Nebiolo, the then-president of the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF), introduced the event. IAAF was founded in 1912 in Sweden as the international governing body for the sport of field athletics and track. The event is sponsored and organised by IAAF. Several competitions take place on the day with the most common types are track and field, road running, race walking and cross country running, etc.
The first-ever World Athletics Day was themed around the Centennial edition of the Olympic Games in Atlanta. Two boys and girls from the event were taken from each of the continental areas and were invited by International Federation to attend the Atlanta Olympics. These practices were followed in successive years. In 2006, participants for the event were aged between 7 to 15 years. Later on, the age gap was changed to 13 to 17 years.
The initial motive of World Athletics Day was only the participation of children who were members of clubs associated with IAAF federations. Later, the aim of the project expanded to include the participation of school children in team competitions. This is because schools are the ideal places to promote the benefits of physical activity in general and of athletics in specific. The main scope of World Athletic Day is listed below.