Perhaps the biggest impact of the DNA concept will be in the realm of grassroots athletics, where it promises new attractions for participants while remaining true to the essence of our sport.
Key features include enhancement of the team dimension, which should increase retention of young athletes, and shorter competition windows, which will be welcomed by parents in this age of ever-increasing time demands. Also important will be the evolving digital dimension of DNA, which will assist competition organisers and help to strengthen the athletics community through online sharing of results, personal experiences and friendships.
With support from European Athletics, the Royal Spanish Athletics Federation (RFEA) has secured a €300,000 grant from the EU for its “Jungle Athletics” project to bring DNA to the grassroots across Europe.
Its culmination will be an online conference for interested federation and club personnel to share experiences of developing national school and club competition systems, a smartphone app and a TikTok-style video challenge.