A delegation from the IAAF World Indoor Championships Sopot 2014 Local Organising Committee gave a progress report to the IAAF Council on Thursday (14) which included the news that Lech Walesa has accepted a role as the Honorary President oof the LOC.
Walesa, now 70, famously hails from Sopot’s neighbouring city of Gdansk - the Ergo Arena, the venue for the Championships, straddles the two cities’ border – where he became first chairman of the Solidarity trade union which led to him winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983. He later served as Poland’s President between 1990 and 1995.
On a logistical note, the LOC delegation said that they had consulted with many members of the organization of the 2013 IAAF World Cross country Championships which was held in another Polish city, Bydgoszcz and that their input had been invaluable.
They also outlined the promotional plan from the present time to the event, which will be staged on 7-9 March and remain confident that the Championships will be well attended.
“We already know we have big groups of fans from the USA, UK and Czech Republic so we are looking forward to hoisting a truly international event,” said a delegation member during the presentation to the IAAF Council.
Volunteer recruitment has been going very well and the Sopot LOC said that they have more than 50% more applicants than the estimated 600 they require.
“After the (IAAF) World Championships in August, there was big increase in applicants, even from Russia,” the delegation added.
The delegation also announced that their technical plans included raising the track by three metres to improve spectator visibility.
The track installation will be completed on 18 February with the Polish indoor championships the following weekend acting as a test event.