News17 Nov 2022

SCIF celebrates 125th anniversary and signs MoU with MOWA


The Spegelsalen (© World Athletics Heritage)

A dinner was held at the Spegelsalen, Grand Hotel, in Stockholm on Monday (14) to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the establishment of the Swedish Central Association for the Promotion of Athletics (SCIF) and the 110th anniversary since the Games of the V Olympiad, Stockholm 1912.

The Spegelsalen, the "Hall of Mirrors", was the room in which the first Nobel Prize ceremony and banquet took place in 1901.

To mark these significant anniversaries, the SCIF and the Museum of World Athletics (MOWA) have signed a four-year memorandum of understanding (MoU).

SCIF and MOWA will work together to promote each other's activities, which celebrate and honour sport history.

The SCIF and World Athletics have been historically entwined since the birth on 17 July 1912 – during the 1912 Stockholm Olympic Games – of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), which was renamed World Athletics in 2019.

The SCIF successfully led the Swedish bid for those Games and constructed the Olympic Stadium in which they were held. That is where its offices are still located today. Furthermore, World Athletics’ first president J Sigfried Edström (1912-1946) was a board member of SCIF during his career as a sports administrator.

The Stockholm Olympic Stadium

The Stockholm Olympic Stadium (© World Athletics Heritage)

When the World Athletics Heritage Collection, which is displayed in MOWA, was created in 2018, SCIF was one of the first to donate artefacts. The birchwood spear with which Eric Lemming won the 1912 Olympic javelin throw title, and an original poster from the Stockholm Games, were presented to World Athletics President Sebastian Coe at a Heritage Night in Monaco on 2 December 2018.

More recently, two World Athletics Heritage Plaques have been unveiled at the Stockholm Olympic Stadium, marking the achievements of Lemming and Jim Thorpe, and the foundation of World Athletics.

“The SCIF and World Athletics have been so tightly braided together from birth, that the establishment of this collaboration seems natural, and I am so pleased that it is now also put in writing,” said SCIF President Rajne Soderberg. “I am looking forward to striving together to care for and promote athletics history as part of our goal to 'make history come alive'."

World Athletics Heritage Director Chris Turner commented: “Our two organisations and the Swedish capital have been historically joined at the hip since the foundation of World Athletics in Stockholm over a century ago. Five hundred metres away from the Grand Hotel, the venue of Monday’s anniversary dinner, stands the Swedish Parliament building in which World Athletics was created.

“SCIF and MOWA are natural heritage soulmates. We have similar visions for honouring and celebrating sports history, whether via Stockholm Olympic Stadium’s Walk of Fame or the World Athletics Heritage Plaque programme around the world. Both associations also preserve historic collections of sporting artefacts. The possible synergies are many. We hope the MoU will help us more effectively promote the rich sporting traditions of which we are the guardians.”

MOWA & World Athletics Heritage