Learning never stops for Northern Marianas Athletics even at this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, as it participated in an online seminar dubbed as “Announcers and Event Presentation Managers in Modern Era.”
NMA secretary general Robin Sapong, who attended the event that took place last July 30 and 31, said the seminar is aimed at giving the sport an opportunity to engage more its stakeholders, particularly the athletes and spectators. Over 1,500 announcers and event presentation managers from 43 countries attended the course conducted by Athletics Federation of India and supported by South Asian Athletics Federation, Oceania Athletics Association, and European Athletics.
“It’s a great and unique initiative in this current situation. The lecturers are all world-class announcer and event managers. They gave as insights on how to attract the new generation of fans,” said Sapong, who also addressed the participants as president of the OAA.
Geoff Wightman—the announcer for the athletics competitions at the 2012 London Olympics—and athletics competition director for 2020 Tokyo Olympics Chris Cohen were the keynote speakers during the seminar and shared the tools of their trade to the participants. Pierce O’Callaghan, project director for World Athletics and AFI Technical Committee chair Stanley Jones moderated the sessions.
“The take away for me is no matter what events we are organizing—whether we are running a grassroots level competition to a major championship—we must ensure that we provide an atmosphere that focuses on athletes’ experience. It must be well-planned and executed to encourage our athletes and fans to continue participating in our sport,” the NMA official added.
Meanwhile, World Athletics president Lord Sebastian Coe recognized the need for an innovative way to present athletics to fans, based on an early research commission by the world-sanctioning body of the sport.
Coe, according to the report posted at the AFI Media, said that the research showed that 75% of fans wanted a change and a three-quarters of those specified change around the event presentation in stadiums and television and on other screens that they engage.
“It made me realize that it is probably more important now than has even been to deliver young fans quality information in a consumable way, whether they are on hay bales at the side of the grass track or whether they’re sitting in an international stadium. The speed with which you can convey that information and bring humor occasionally are pieces great of human interactivity,” Lord Coe was quoted as saying in AFI Media.
“If the experiences we provide them is anything less that they expect, they move on very quickly. Not just to another sport but also out of sport, to music, films and other things,” he added.
The “Announcers and Event Presentation Managers in Modern Era” seminar was the third event that NMA attended virtually in the last two months. In June, the association also took part in the info session on risk management of sports events amid this pandemic and the OAA Annual Congress.