By Rob Fawdon, London, July 24, 2015: IAAF Presidential candidate Seb Coe has today promised an Olympic Athletics Dividend to all of the IAAF’s 214 Member Federations if he is elected President. The dividend would be funded through approximately half of the quadrennial fee received from the International Olympic Committee [IOC], and underpinned by a strategic review of existing IAAF structures and use of resources. This would be in alignment with the IAAF Strategic Plan and World Athletic Series Renovation Workshop project.
The Olympic Athletics Dividend – which is in addition to all existing IAAF development grants – would be distributed on an equal share basis and equates to at least $100,000 per Federation to be invested in Athletics development over a four year cycle, totalling around $22 million.
Coe has committed to making the first Olympic Athletics Dividend grant of $25,000 to all Federations in Q1 2016 as a recognition of the key role Athletics played in the success of the London 2012 Olympic Games. The next grant would be available in early 2017 reflecting the contribution from Athletics to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. The Dividend will not breach the reserves policy of the IAAF or harm the financial health of the organisation, which has seen reserves grow under the leadership of current IAAF President Lamine Diack to $76m at the end of 2013.
The Olympic Athletics Dividend would be distributed to Federations for projects based on a number of core principles including:
• Funds would be allocated against set objectives and criteria to enhance the work of the Member Federations based on their own strategic priorities
• Robust internal structures would supervise the distribution of the Olympic Athletics Dividend which would be published in the IAAF’s independently audited accounts.
There will be a wide scope of projects the Olympic Athletics Dividend could help fund including construction, refurbishment or maintenance of facilities; purchase or hire of equipment; preparation and training of athletes, coaches and team officials including travel support; staging of national and regional competitions; and the delivery of development and talent identification programmes in schools and clubs.
Speaking ahead of the IAAF Diamond League meeting in London, Seb Coe said:
“If I am elected President, I will ensure that an Olympic Athletics Dividend is established and available to all of the IAAF’s 214 Member Federations to help fund Athletics projects and development on the ground, where it matters most. The dividend, which would total around $22m over a four year period, would be funded through approximately half of the quadrennial fee received from the International Olympic Committee and underpinned by a strategic review of existing IAAF structures and use of resources. This would be in alignment with the IAAF Strategic Plan and World Athletic Series Renovation Workshop project.
“I have worked closely with a leading firm of chartered accountants to act as a financial adviser in drawing up this proposal to ensure it is feasible and sustainable. I am confident it is both. I have also discussed the concept with IAAF colleagues and members of the Athletics family and I’m encouraged by their support and grateful for their input which has helped shape this initiative.
“Robust internal structures would oversee the distribution of the Dividend to ensure that it is used for maximum effect and against set objectives and criteria agreed by the Member Federation. I want to see the IAAF work hand in hand with the Member Federations to support and identify opportunities that fit with their strategic priorities. Crucially, this Dividend will also allow for Federations to plan over a longer term.
“This plan is underpinned by a strong long term IAAF commercial partnership with Dentsu, a healthy level of IAAF financial reserves built up under the presidency of Lamine Diack, my commitment to review IAAF structures and use of resources if I am elected President, as well as a focussed approach to new sources of revenue. IAAF reserves, including those monies from the IOC, need to be maintained at a prudent level. But we must also ensure those funds are put to work through the Federations who are best placed to deliver Athletics on the ground and around the globe.”
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