I have been asked to forward the statement attached to all Youth Endurance athletes & coaches. This outlines that AAI will not be sending a team to the championships and the reasons why. Thanks.
National Junior Endurance Coach
At an IAAF meeting during the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, one of the areas discussed at length was the area of youth sport. The IAAF made a decision at that meeting to cancel the IAAF World Youth Championships from the International Calendar starting from 2018.
Sebastian Coe, IAAF President, said: “We decided it’s not the best pathway for those athletes at that stage of their career”. He added that the decision was arrived at after "thorough research and consultation with coaches”. Research by the IAAF had shown the majority of athletes competing at the World Under-18 championships did not progress to the Senior level and that this level of competition provided an "unwelcome distraction’ to their development”. Coe stated that the IAAF has “instead decided to support area (continental) competitions in this age-group."
This is a strong message from IAAF, and one which Athletics Ireland supports.
Athletics Ireland will not be sending a team to the 2017 World Youth Championships in Kenya.
The Long-Term Athlete Development Model underpins Athletics Ireland’s philosophy for both Athlete & Coach Development.
Athletics Ireland offers age-appropriate competition experience to youth athletes through participation in:
- County, Regional & National Championships (both at School & Club level)
- Tailteann Games (Interprovincial Championship)
- Celtic Games & Celtic XC
- Schools International (SIAB)
- European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF)
- European Youth Championships
Carded youth athletes are further encouraged to develop a plan, with the long-term goal being International competitions at Junior (U/20), U/23 and Senior level, and (depending on their Carding Level) are supported to travel to smaller Meets in UK and Europe.