Mobile phones could enhance fans interaction in athletics meets: WA Vice-President

New Delhi, August 1: World Athletics Vice President Geoff Gardner has said the mobile phone could be a valuable tool that can be used in enhancing the spectating experience of fans who are looking for something different and for something that allows interaction with athletes and with one other.

He was speaking on the concluding day of the two-day online seminar for announcers and event presentation managers in the modern era, conducted by the Athletics Federation of India jointly with South Asian Athletics Federation, Oceania Athletics Association and Europe Athletics. More than 1500 participants attended the seminar which had a reach of 65,000 on Facebook.

“We have to acknowledge the steps taken to innovate in keeping with the changing demands of fans and spectators. It is about finding new ways of presenting events and engaging with younger fans and spectators. It will be critical to the success of our sport,” Mr. Gardner said. “Our events have to be short, sharp and dazzling.”

Mr. Gardner complimented AFI and SAAF for sustained use of technology to upgrade the knowledge of everyone in the sport – from high performance coaches to technical officials, from announcers to event presentation managers. “World Athletics has taken keen note of this and we follow a similar programme in these times,” he said.

AFI President Adille J. Sumariwalla said the manner in which the experienced and admirable faculty, comprising Geoff Whitman, Chris Cohen, Andy Kay and Pierce O’Callaghan, had shared its knowledge would inspire and encourage every announcer and  event presentation manager to put his or her best foot forward to make athletics attractive to the fans at all levels.

SAAF President Dr. Lalit K Bhanot, who conceived the seminar, said he was sure the participants would have found the two days very engaging. “They would have upgraded their knowledge and can ensure that events at all levels will attract fans and spectators. It is clear that there cannot be long gaps in events and the announcers must keep the audience engaged the right way,” he said.