To: Sebastian Coe,
Dear President Lord Coe,
Reference: WORLD ATHLETICS POTENTIAL PROPOSAL
[Fitness & Skill Award for Teenagers: 13 to 18 years old]
In the late 1970’s William [Bill] Toomey, Olympic Decathlon gold medalist and Barry King, British Olympic Decathlete [RIP – His funeral was last Saturday 10th April, 2021 in Colorado], they prepared a proposal called the National Pentathlon for school children 13 to 18 years old, which was accepted by the United States Presidents Council and sponsored by Coca-Cola. This program was very successful in the USA schools system; which I understand several million certificates handed out.
Then Coca-Cola, assisted by Toomey and King, also introduced the project in Brazil where another several million school children participated and a notable Brazilian athlete – Joaquin Cruz – came out of the system… later winning the 800 meters Olympic Gold medal in the 1984 Los Angeles Games. But unfortunately Presidents and political agendas change and this excellent program fell by the wayside and was almost totally forgotten for many years.
We would like to suggest that you and World Athletics consider the Toomey/King designed World Pentathlon Fitness Award– for all school boys and girls between 13 and 18 years of age. There is a vacuum in this age group. Yes, there is of course the Youth and Junior program for the elite school boys and girl teenagers, but not for the rest of the teenagers who may turn out to be late developers or just future Athletics fans.
The five activities in the National Pentathlon Award are:
- 100 meters
- Long jump
- Shot put
- High jump
- 1,500 meters
These five events test and develop the most essential characteristics of physical fitness which are speed, strength, agility, skill and endurance. Performances achieved in each event are evaluated on a scoring table. The total score represents a meaningful measurement of physical conditioning and sports skill, it sets a level upon which each participant, all girls and boys 13 – 18 years will seek to improve.
This program can be revived, this time by WORLD ATHLETICS and may I kindly suggest that you initially discuss with Indian Athletics Federation President Adille the possibility of using Indian Schools as the first example to initiate the Program. [Note: In 2015 when I was the High Performance Director for the Indian Athletics Federation, I briefly discussed the Schools project with President Adille, Dr. L.Bhanot (Chairman of Planning) and the then Director General of the Indian Sports Authority. There was positive interest on the subject]
This proposed program will fulfil a need for the 13 -18 years age category. In the second attachment below – a 40 page document is the introduction to the program and all the relevant information, including an original Award Certificate example. If this project is found acceptable the program could be brought up to date by a World Athletics sub-committee, thus saving the sport “reinventing the wheel”.
As in all sports: ‘Competition is the life blood of Athletics’. So also it is in the world of business. I assume with an attractive program like this it should not be too difficult to educe some large corporations to come aboard as a sponsor[s].
Thanking you for your valuable time,
Derek Boosey OLY
CC William [Bill] Toomey OLY
CC Barry King OLY [RIP]
Derek Boosey represented Great Britain in the triple jump at the Mexico City Olympics in 1968. He was Chief Administrator of Operations for the 1982 Commonwealth Games in Brisbane and has held many other roles in sport across the world.