The global state of the sport athletics
Host a conference in Durban, South Africa, where some of the best minds in athletics could discuss and debate issues in order to move the sport forward. To create an interactive and interesting time, the format over the 2 days varied from panel discussions to key note addresses and Q & A sessions.
The GAC was voted the best sports conference in South Africa for 2014.
Leading and facilitating the exciting debate in the iZulu Theatre at Sibaya Casino and Entertainment Kingdom, and pulling no punches in his opening key note address regarding the state of the sport, was four time Olympic medallist Ato Boldon. He set the standard for the discussions to come and the overwhelming response from those that attended was that the content of the GAC set it apart from anything else on offer in the athletics arena. Resolutions developed during the course of the GAC were supported by over 95% of those in attendance, an indicator of both the importance and relevance of the event. In addition, almost all delegates interviewed said they would be back in 2015 and gave the GAC one of the highest event performance indices that all involved had ever seen.
One of the strengths of the conference lay in the fact that the GAC attracted not only the best minds in the business of athletics, but also in attendance were legends of the sport such as Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Elana Meye, as well as athletes still competing at the highest level such as current and former marathon world record holders Dennis Kimetto and Wilson Kipsang. Adding gravitas to the event was the presence of MEC for Arts, Culture, Sports & Recreation Ms Ntombikayise Sibhidla-Saphetha, Head of Department Ms Rohini Naidoo and Athletics South Africa president Aleck Skhosana. The GAC was also honoured to have Ethekwini Municipality Speaker, Counsellor Logie Naidoo attend the VIP cocktail function, held at the Oysterbox the night before the start conference, and lend his support and vote of confidence to the event.
Another indicator of the truly ground-breaking nature of the GAC, was the unique first-of-its-kind Student Sport Innovation Competition that was run in the lead up to the conference. Undergraduate students from across academic disciplines were asked to creatively develop a concept, product or event that could help solve a relevant issue within athletics.