Agreement signed to introduce Kids Athletics in Russian Schools, Moscow 2013 World Championships preparations reviewed
In a historic meeting today in Moscow, IAAF President Lamine Diack signed a memorandum of understanding with the Russian Minister of Education Andrey Fursenko, to ensure increased co-operation in the development of athletics in the Russian school system.
Specifically, the agreement acknowledges the importance of athletics as the basis of physical education and sports’ education in Russian schools, not just as an important subject for physical education programmes but as the ideal "first sport" for pupils as well. The agreement ensures that the IAAF’s Kids’ Athletics programme will be integrated directly into the Russian educational system, but also increases the hours allocated to teaching athletics and to activities associated with athletics as well. The IAAF is supporting the initiative by training the specialist instructors, supplying all the relevant educational material as well as the specialist equipment kits.
"This is a dream come true," said Lamine Diack after signing the agreement. "Ever since we started Kids Athletics in 2005, we had a vision to make athletics the number 1 sport in school and knew that we needed strong relationships with national governments to make this happen. This agreement is a testament to the virtues of pertinence and persistence and I am delighted that, by the end of 2011, Kids Athletics had reached a cumulative audience of 1.5 Million kids across 100 territories with all the course material available, free from our website, in 23 different languages. Kids Athletics is not only fun for youngsters but serves as a real educational tool and a useful means of social integration as well."