16 September 2022
Media audiences following tomorrow’s first European DNA U20 Clubs in Castellón, Spain, can look forward to experiencing athletics in new and unexpected ways.
Part of the reason will be because of the differences between traditional athletics and the innovative Dynamic New Athletics format itself, but a major part will down to two young presenters, Ellen Ellard and Mica Moore, who have been selected for both their expertise and their ability to connect to the event’s youthful target audience.
European Athletics’ DNA coordinator Marcel Wakim explains that the non-traditional DNA calls for new faces and something fresh from the commentators.
“We a reaching out through digital channels to people who are interested in competition and running, jumping and throwing but they don’t necessarily follow the traditional form of the sport, so we need to give them something they can relate to,” he said.
The international live-stream for all four of the matches in Castellón will be fronted by Ellen, originally from Peterborough in the east of England whose day job includes live reporting on BBC radio and presenting for Premier League football club Manchester City.
Ellen, who grew up in what she describes as a “sports-mad family” and ran the 800 metres in her school days, is not completely new to broadcasting athletics events having previously done on-air commentary for the innovative Night of the 10,000m PBs and the England Athletics Indoor National Championships as well as triathlon competitions.
Earlier this year she became aware of DNA through the social media promotion of the indoor showcase in Glasgow and then watched the event on the live-stream.
“I have always had a great feeling for athletics anyway, but I really loved what I saw from Glasgow and wished I’d had the chance to be part of something exciting and team-oriented like that when I was competing, she said.
“My objective for this weekend is to help explain this new format to what is essentially a new audience and what it can bring to the sport’s eco-system, especially as a platform for young athletes.”
Mica’s DNA pedigree stretches back to the launch of DNA at the 2019 European Games, where as a newcomer to working at the top-level of the sport she was part of the European Athletics social media team presenting encounters with the athletes’ feelings from the field.
In Glasgow, the sprinter and bobsleigh competitor got a different perspective, as she was selected to represent her native Wales in the 60 metres.
“We were all fighting so hard to be on the team for Glasgow and the experience of competing there was fantastic,” she said.
“In my experience the team element of DNA is massively important and really changes the athletes’ mindset and motivation. I am sure this format can help increase the interest of grassroots athletes.”
Tomorrow, Mica’s job in Castellón will be to make the event accessible to TiKTok and Instagram audiences by bringing out the personalities of the competitors.
“I have to admit that I have the fun job. There is no real manual for what I do, so my task is to interact with the athletes and try to do different things with interviews and putting things to music in order to create memorable moments,” she explained.
“People following on social media expect the unexpected. My aim is to deliver.”
The two-day, four-match DNA competition in Castellón will be available via several platforms, including the www.dna.run and All Athletics sites.
Tomorrow, Match 1 will be available to view at https://youtu.be/u9DD1dV9DSY and Match 2 at https://youtu.be/omrnSxjWIQs.
Both matches can also be seen on https://athletics.eurovisionsports.tv/championships/ea-dna-u20-Castellon-2022.
Action on day two can be viewed at https://youtu.be/rv1XCPJ2R3E and https://athletics.eurovisionsports.tv/championships/ea-dna-u20-Castellon-2022.
For further information on the DNA U20 Clubs competition and the DNA project itself see www.dna.run.