19 May 2020
New Delhi. More than 500 officials from different states of the country attended the two-day online seminar for Starters organised by Athletics Federation of India (AFI) on 18th & 19th May 2020. The seminar was part of AFI’s online learning initiative which was launched last month due to nationwide lockdown amid outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The seminar updated the knowledge of technical officials regarding duties of a Starter in athletics events and interpretation of World Athletics (WA) rules and regulations concerning the job. Apart from India, technical officials from South Asian Athletics Federation member countries- Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka also attended the seminar. Some other participants in the seminar included officials from Nigeria and Belarus.
UK’s Allan Bell, one of the most experienced International Starter of World Athletics, was the keynote speaker on the final day of the seminar. He cited examples from major championships concerning false starts and warnings, interpretation of various WA rules and answered the questions from the participants. Geoff Gardner, Vice-President WA, was the Chief Guest for the seminar.
“We are very pleased with the way our online learning initiative has worked so far. The participation of coaches and officials from SAAF member countries as well as few other foreign countries in our seminars has been really encouraging. We have received very good feedback from the participants regarding the quality of education they have received and learned from the real-life experiences of elite officials of World Athletics. I thank everyone who has helped AFI in its endeavour to spread knowledge during this lockdown period”, said AFI President Adille J Sumariwalla.
South Asian Athletics Federation President and AFI Planning and Development Committee Chairman Dr Lalit K Bhanot said, “Over the last two months of lockdown, we have tried to educate coaches and officials from different parts of the world, especially, the SAAF countries. We have completed an online course for our World Athletics Level-1 and SAI coaches while there is another course for Level-2 coaches which is ongoing. For officials, this was our second seminar after we organised a very successful and World’s largest online seminar last month. There are lot of other interesting things in our planning for future in this direction of education and coaching and we are always looking forward to make the best use of modern technology for betterment of our sport.”
CK Valson, Secretary AFI, presented the vote of thanks to conclude the seminar.