The athletics fraternity’s largest online technical officials’ seminar, conducted jointly by the South Asian Athletics Federation and the Athletics Federation of India (AFI), drew to a close on Thursday (30).
Some 900 participants took part daily in the ten sessions that spanned six days. Seven technical experts from seven countries - Luis Saladie (ESP), Chris Cohen (GBR), Pierce O’Callaghan (IRL), Luca Verrascina (ITA), Dr. Judit Krisztina Horvath (HUN), Yukio Seki (JPN) and Kwan Kee (HKG) - addressed a variety of topics, including time table development, the preparation and role of International Technical Officials (ITOs) and rules and their interpretations in several disciplines.
Cohen, the athletics competition director for Tokyo 2020, also delivered a keynote address on the final day, providing numerous examples on the roles of ITOs from major international championships.
South Asian Athletics Federation President and AFI Planning and Development Committee Chairman Lalit K. Bhanot said the response to the online seminar was heartening.
“These voluntary technical officials ensure the success of every athletics meeting by performing their duties passionately," he said. "It is our job to help them stay abreast of the rules and regulations."
Indian federation President and IAAF Council Member Adille J. Sumariwalla also expressed immense satisfaction that more than 900 Technical Officials in South Asia derived the benefits from the online seminar.
"At AFI, we have been in the forefront of the use of technology, even in terms of getting all athletes to register themselves with their biometric data to make our processes easier," he said.
“The seminar in collaboration with SAAF will reduce travel expenses and helps us face logistic challenges even while reaching larger audiences by embracing technology. We will soon become the first national sports federation to hold our special general meeting online. Our office may be shut but we will continue to work for the all-round development of our sport,” he concluded.
Divesh Bhal (AFI) for World Athletics