This year’s WAD had a vast geography in Ukraine. It covered 3 cities: Kyiv, Ivano-Frankivsk and Kirovohrad. Ukraine has also decided to think out of the box and to introduce some new fun activities to celebrate World Athletic Day together.
This year’s celebration in Ukraine was anything but ordinary. Sergey Bubka himself visited the IAAF Kids Athletics presentation that took place during World Athletic Day in Kirovohrad, Ukraine. Bubka believes that national and international athletics events must do more to engage young audiences. And to practice what he preaches, he took part in the fun warm-up, ran a relay as a part of the team and even introduced a shy three-year-old to the exciting world of Athletics!
One of the pillars of Bubka’s Presidential campaign is “Building on the legacy of Athletics”. He believes that in planning our future we must recognize the importance of our past. And one of the ways to inspire our young generations is thorough our great history. One of activities of the Day was meeting with Athletics Masters and commemorating the athletes, who gave their lives fighting fascism during World War II.
During the launch of his book “Flying Bubka”, he was bombarded with questions from the young audience. Children wanted to know how to become a leader, was it scary to compete for the first time, how do you cope with being nervous and is it true that losing makes you stronger?
“If you beat yourself, you beat everybody else. You aren’t born a champion; it takes a lot of hard work, determination and dedication to become one”, Bubka said, “I truly hope this book will motivate kids from all over the world to make sport and an active lifestyle a part of their daily lives. The IAAF should take responsibility to involve our champions as role models for young athletes in their native countries as well as globally.”
Everybody present received a copy of “Flying Bubka” book with autograph and warm wishes. No one was denied the pleasure of taking a picture with Sergey Bubka!
It was very hard to leave for a scheduled TV interview as the children didn’t want to let Sergey go!
This World Athletic Day turned out to be an inspiration for all. “The IAAF must continue to promote the importance of sports to today’s youth so that more people get active and I am already committed to doing that through the visits to projects and sports clubs for young people I attend on a regular basis. I could see today, during the World Athletics Day, how much sport inspires young people when they are encouraged to participate.”