Ambassadors promote I Run Clean in Sofia 22 February 2021
The 2021 campaign to promote European Athletics’ I Run Clean anti-doping education programme to the coming generation of young athletes was kicked off in style by a crew of volunteers at the Balkan U20 Indoor Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria, on 13 February.
Five young ambassadors who have been selected for training to lead I Run Clean workshops in Bulgaria later this year joined a crew of local volunteers to provide information about the programme and its e-learning website to the more than 300 athletes from 17 countries taking part in the event.
Every medallist was presented with an I Run Clean-branded buff (a fabric tube that can be worn on the neck or over the head) and all the athletes participating in the championships were encouraged to take selfies in front of an impressive I Run Clean photo-wall backdrop and then share their support through their social media accounts.
The promotion was the brainchild of Maya Karamarinova, who in addition to her work for the Association of Balkan Athletic Federations, which was staging the event, is the I Run Clean coordinator for Bulgaria.
“We wanted the new ambassadors to be involved in promoting I Run Clean before they start their training and we also saw this competition as a chance to introduce the programme to the athletes from the other countries as well”, said Karamarinova.
“The reaction of the athletes was really positive. They seem to understand that everyone in the sport must be involved in the fight against doping and I think that they have already started communicating about I Run Clean to their teammates and friends back home.”
Karamarinova added that the promotion at the championships was just the start of national-level efforts that later this year will include reaching out to Bulgaria’s road running community.
Turning up at the photo wall in Sofia to meet with the athletes and volunteers were European Athletics’ Interim President Dobromir Karamarinov, who is also Karamarinova’s father, and Council member Jean Gracia, who is responsible for leading the I Run Clean programme.
Interim President Karamarinov later went on Twitter to say “the U20 athletes are the right target: for many of them this is the first international event ever. They need to know more about the dangers of doping and how to stay clean.”
The I Run Clean anti-doping education programme was launched in 2017 and completing the seven e-learning modules to obtain the I Run Clean diploma is now a mandatory entry requirement for all athletes wishing to take part in future European Athletics championship events.
Available in 26 languages, I Run Clean is also open to grassroots athletes and anyone, young or old, who is interested in athletics and knowing more about clean sport.
For more information and to take part in the programme visit www.irunclean.org
Throughout 2021 and 2022 European Athletics and 10 partners will be conducting a project to expand I Run Clean, which is funded with a grant from the European Commission’s Erasmus+ programme.
The project deliverables include new modules for the e-learning programme as well as local workshops for athletes, athlete support personnel and parents that will be led by trained ambassadors in Bulgaria, Estonia, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.
Co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme
of the European Union
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