DNA – the way forward

In July 2019, after more than three years of research, testing and awareness raising, European Athletics successfully launched an exciting new competition format known as Dynamic New Athletics or DNA at the 2nd European Games in Minsk, Belarus.

Building on athletics’ core elements of running, jumping and throwing, DNA integrates presentation and technical innovations designed to meet the demands and expectations of modern audiences, especially young people, by making competitions easier to follow and more media-friendly.

Like chocolate complements vanilla or Hip Hop complements opera, DNA showcase events offer fans a choice for enjoying our sport that is a complement to traditional or classical athletics, which will remain the format for elite international competitions such as the Olympic Games, World and European Championships and Diamond League.

dna vs classic format

But Minsk was just one chapter in the DNA story. From the start of the project, it has been clear that this new format’s potential stretches well beyond showcase events. DNA’s flexibility and key features – including small, mixed-gender teams, a compact timetable of selected disciplines, modified rules and integral digital elements – offer new value to all levels of the athlete development pyramid.

As the focus of the project is expanding in order to realise opportunities for the grassroots, we in European Athletics are convinced that DNA represents a new dimension of athletics that can revitalise our sport in clubs and schools and we are working to empower Member Federations to make this happen in their countries.

a new dimension
grassroots development