The Ethiopian Athletics Federation (EAF) unveiled the 2019 annual calendar following complaints made by several athletes protesting the lack of preparation time, not knowing the schedule, and lack of facilities for conduct training. In a press conference on Thursday, December 13, 2018, the EAF disclosed its annual preparation for local tournaments, international competitions, national team selection of athletes and training centers.
It is to be recalled that it was after the complaints that Haile Gebreselassie resigned from his role as president to the Federation.
In light of these athlete complaints, the EAF has taken steps to fulfill the interests of athletes and pointed out that the announcement of the 2019 calendar will help athletes prepare more to take part in competitions. Furthermore, according to the federation, all local competitions will be on the calendar from which the national team is selected based on results.
The issue of selection for the national team was the most contested between athletes and the governing body. According to EAF statements, the selection of appropriate athletes to represent the world athletics should participate in local tournaments.
Since 2017/18, the EAF’s selected national team athletes stay with their respective clubs, academy, and managers before international championships. These athletes will commence regular training by selected coaches. With these, the EAF has stated to use several mechanisms to follow-up performances of athletes via reports.
“We have set various methods to control our athletes’ performance by assigning experts and all athletes will be evaluated depending on their result and current performances,” said Ethiopian Athletics Federation Secretary General Bililegn Mekoya.
The EAF also included a preparation time frame to help get ready for international races. For world cross-country, African cross-country and African Youth championships; 45 days are set while for world athletics champions and all African games sees 60 days set for preparation while for Olympic competitions 90 days are set.
Likewise, national team coaches will be selected from regions, clubs, academies and individuals. The appointments will depend on their performance, in international experience, and having a formal coaching license from IAAF.
Elsewhere, the 5th edition 30 km road race is set to be staged on Sunday, December 16, 2018, in Bishoftu. 419 clubs, regional, elite and individual athletes are expected to participate with over 400,000 birr in prize money.
EAF technical director, Dube Jilo, has explained that they are in the process with world athletes governing body, IAAF, to make the 30km road race international.
The winners will represent Ethiopia on the international stage.