In 1996, the IAAF Council introduced for the first time World Athletics Day. The basis of the concept was to help spread interest and enthusiasm for our sport around the world, by encouraging the IAAF's 209 Member Federations to organise a common day of competitions among youngsters within their respective territories. The Federations supplied a list of winners and, from among these, there were selected two boys and two girls from each of the IAAF's six continental areas, who were invited on an expenses paid trip to attend the Atlanta Olympic Games. Following the success of this first event, the IAAF decided to perpetuate the tradition and repeated World Athletics Day in 1997. On this occasion, the lucky winners were invited to Athens in August last year for the 1997 World Championships in Athletics.
This year's World Athletics Day will offer the winners a trip to Johannesburg to attend the 1998 World Cup in Athletics from 11-13 September as guests of the IAAF. The competitions will be held world wide on 9 and 10 May, and the participation among the Federations is expected to be still greater than that of the previous editions.
Member Federations who have not already done soare reminded that they must confirm their participation, at the latest, by 15 February 1998.