Raul Chapado, president of RFEA (© Getty Images)
Athletics leadership in Spain has urged the sport to be “looking towards new generations”, as the national federation throws its support behind the Global Conversation.
Interviewed by the Spanish edition of the influential Runners World magazine, Raul Chapado, president of the Royal Spanish Athletics Federation (RFEA), stressed the importance of the opportunity for the sport to seize.
"We are at a key moment,” he said. “Like other sectors of society, sport is probably facing a dynamism that we are not able to manage, due to the speed that the world is taking. In this approach, we must make a transformation.
“Sport is going to play a key role in the coming years. In fact, we are already seeing the demand from runners who want to go out into a natural environment, the number of children who are going to sports schools and the inspiration that the great Spanish athletes [give] to the new generations.
"You have to make a bet looking towards the new generations. That is why the commitment to digital transformation and the human dimension of sport. Extending sport to another part of the community is important. We want to reach schools, to practice athletics in a non-competitive way and use all the environments offered by the ecosystem, the natural and urban environment, with the construction of tracks and facilities, to make athletics much more global and, probably, much richer.”
He urged an open-minded approach to the survey.
"We want to know if we have to expand our relationship much more, if we have to promote it better, if we have to do some kind of different competition ... I think it is innovative to ask this question and in Spain we are very aligned with what World Athletics has done.
"We are trying to involve all the interest groups in athletics to give their opinion on how they believe that the athletics of the future can be improved. With all this information, the Deloitte company will work to make the world athletics plan for the coming years."
He echoed this point in a separate article published by Malaga sports new outlet Merchán en directo.
“World Athletics wants to hear the voice of key players in global athletics with the aim of developing a new World Athletics Plan, and for this it has launched this fantastic initiative, ‘The Global Conversation’, in order to know the various ideas and opinions through surveys and dialogues with people representative of our sport, and thus know first-hand the future needs and visions of world athletics," he said.
“The RFEA supports this magnificent initiative and will actively work together to engage representatives of all athletic groups. Because together we will lead the future."
To have your say on the future of the sport, please complete the Global Conversation survey by 30 April.