Nitro Athletics what the sport needs – Coe
Athletics needs innovative new concepts to attract new fans to the sport and International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) president Sebastian Coe believes the Australian organisers of the new Nitro Athletics series have a hit.
The two-time Olympic champion, who became IAAF president in 2015, has been pursuing a strong reform agenda within the sport, but believes athletics must look critically at every element of its operations to attract new audiences.
The series kicks off in a month and will see Australia take on Usain Bolt's All-Stars, China, England, Japan and New Zealand in a new-look athletics format at Melbourne's Lakeside Stadium on Saturday, February 4, Thursday, February 9 and Saturday, February 11.
"Athletics, in its traditional form, remains the cornerstone of the Olympic Games," said Coe.
"Our World Championships remain an incredibly strong and attractive event ... however, we need innovation and more opportunities for our athletes to interact with fans and show their personalities - and Nitro Athletics is a great example of what can be done and what needs to be done to revolutionise how we present our sport and how our fans connect with the sport and the athletes."
Coe also believes that athletes and fans want more fun.
"We need events that bring back the fun, the kids and the crowds. And we need to create events that deliver that and add a different dimension to the record-setting events like the World Championships.
"Why not change the format of how athletics is presented. We need brave, bold ideas that engage fans in events and across a range of platforms. The only thing stopping us is our imagination and the courage to try something new."
The IAAF President will be in Melbourne for the Nitro Athletics Final on February 11 and believes the eyes of world sport will be on Melbourne for the three-meet series
Jamaica's Usain Bolt has embraced Nitro Athletics and is lending his weight and speed to the event.