Coe says children will need more sport in post-pandemic world

SHOWS:

LONDON, ENGLAND, UK (MAY 8, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

1. (SOUNDBITE) (English) WORLD ATHLETICS PRESIDENT, SEBASTIAN COE, ON CAMPAIGNING FOR CHILDHOOD ACCESS TO SPORTS, SAYING:

"There is absolutely no doubt to me that this has to be our campaigning zeal and we will galvanise the voices of the athletes and I'm not going to be shy or pussy foot around this any longer. This has to be addressed and this has to be the long term thinking when we come out of this and when we've sort of set aside the immediacy of the challenge."

LONDON, ENGLAND, UK (FILE - MARCH 16, 2015) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

2. COE ARRIVING AT OLYMPIC STADIUM


LONDON, ENGLAND, UK (MAY 8, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

3. (SOUNDBITE) (English) WORLD ATHLETICS PRESIDENT, SEBASTIAN COE, ON BEING THE VOICE FOR CHILDREN WITHOUT ACCESS TO SPORTS, SAYING:

"I want our sport to be a campaigning sport and if we're not about young people and access to the sport, we might as well pack up and go home and that's going to be my voice for the foreseeable future."

MUNICH, GERMANY (FILE - JANUARY 14, 2016) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

4. VARIOUS OF COE, SITTING IN THE NEWS CONFERENCE FOR THE WADA INDEPENDENT COMMISSION REPORT

LONDON, ENGLAND, UK (MAY 8, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

5. (SOUNDBITE) (English) WORLD ATHLETICS PRESIDENT, SEBASTIAN COE, ON THE ROLE THE ATHLETICS CAN PLAY IN CHILDREN LIVING HEALTHIER LIVES, SAYING:

"And what is clear to me is that we have to do a whole heap more to get young kids fitter and healthier and that can only be done through school sport. And I'm no longer going to be palmed off, and nor is this sport going to be palmed off by the sort of bland observations that, you know, everything's okay in the garden. It isn't. You know, school sport in large parts of the world has been withering on the vine. Athletics is by a distance the most accessible sport to really get politicians and sports ministers to focus on this and every child, you know, we are going to be the voice behind every child has to access to sport."

MONTE CARLO, MONACO (FILE - DECEMBER 4, 2018) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

6. COE LISTENING IN ON HEADPHONES DURING NEWS CONFERENCE

LONDON, ENGLAND, UK (MAY 8, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

7. (SOUNDBITE) (English) WORLD ATHLETICS PRESIDENT, SEBASTIAN COE, ON MAKING SPORT ACCESSABLE FOR CHILDREN, SAYING:

"We've got to hit this now hard. We've got to get into the education departments and we've got to, we can't let politicians, we can't let political leaders, sort of talk a good game about this, but frankly not deliver on it. And any parent will tell you in large parts of the word that they have witnessed less physical activity in the lives of their children and in large part that is in schools and that will be our campaign. Every school, every child deserves a right to sporting access and it starts at an early age because that's where you build up that pattern, that habit of activity."

MONTE CARLO, MONACO (FILE - MARCH 12, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

8. COE DURING NEWS CONFERENCE

LONDON, ENGLAND, UK (MAY 8, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

9. (SOUNDBITE) (English) WORLD ATHLETICS PRESIDENT, SEBASTIAN COE, ON FOCUSING ON CHILDREN LIVING HEALTHY, ACTIVE LIVES, SAYING:

"There is no doubt that if you have fit, healthy, immune boosted, you know, populations then, you know, it's not just about the pandemic, it's actually about your ability to live a better, healthier life and this has to be focused on now. It is the very fact that the average child in the UK becomes 50 per cent less active, roughly between the age of eight and nine and 12 and 13 is wrong. It just cannot be right in whichever way you view that, that has to be a worry."

TOKYO, JAPAN (FILE - DECEMBER 15, 2019) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

10. OLYMPIC RINGS OUTSIDE NATIONAL STADIUM

11. EXTERIOR OF NATIONAL STADIUM

12. INTERIOR OF NATIONAL STADIUM

LONDON, ENGLAND, UK (MAY 8, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

13. (SOUNDBITE) (English) WORLD ATHLETICS PRESIDENT, SEBASTIAN COE, ON OLYMPICS, SAYING:

"But, I think beyond that the speculation into something that is now in the books for the middle of next year when we've over a year before we get there is probably unhelpful."

MONTE CARLO, MONACO (FILE - AUGUST 26, 2015) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

14. IAAF HEADQUARTERS ENTRANCE

15. IAAF ATHLETICS PLAQUE

LONDON, ENGLAND, UK (MAY 8, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

16. (SOUNDBITE) (English) WORLD ATHLETICS PRESIDENT, SEBASTIAN COE, ON INNOVATING DURING THE LOCKDOWN AND ON THE RETURN OF NORMAL ATHLETICS MEETS, SAYING:

"The very fact we're an individual sport has allowed us to do the Ultimate Garden Clash, it's allowed us to, or allowed the Bislett organising committee to think out of the box and create the Impossible Games. It's allowed us, it will allow us to probably do more at this moment to remain front and centre than a lot of team sports that are reliant on, you know, the challenge of getting 22 people on, and probably more, onto a pitch. So, that's one of the advantages we have the moment, but certainly going forward it's not a sustainable position for sport, or for broadcasters, or for the fans, or the competitors to be playing in the laboratory conditions behind closed doors. We recognise that for some weeks or months that may be a necessary requirement, but I don't think anyone is sitting there thinking that that's where we want to be, you know, in six months or a year's time."

MONTE CARLO, MONACO (FILE - MARCH 12, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

17. NAME TAG READING: "SEBASTIAN COLE"

STORY: Children will need more access to sport in the post-pandemic world and there is a pressing need to press authorities to stop school sports "withering on the vine", World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said on Friday (May 8).

The pandemic has wreaked havoc on the sporting calendar across all disciplines and levels from school to professional.

Coe told Reuters he was planning to launch a campaign to protect the long-term future of athletics when the global lockdowns and cancellations end.

"I want our sport to be a campaigning sport and if we are not about young people and access to the sport we might as well pack up and go home," the 63-year-old said.

"I am not going to be shy or pussy foot around this any longer. This has to be addressed and this has to be the long-term thinking when we come out of this."

A healthier population would be better placed to weather future storms like the coronavirus outbreak, Coe added.

"We have got to hit this hard now. We have get into education departments and we can't let politicians talk a good game about this and not deliver," Coe said.

"The very fact that any child in the UK is 50% less likely to be active between the age of eight and nine, and 12 and 13, is wrong. It just cannot be right. Whichever way you view that, that has to be wrong," he added.

(Production: Iain Axon / Stefan Haskins)