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IAAF installs air quality monitor at Sydney Olympic Park Athletics Centre
As part of a pilot program to measure air quality at venues around the world, global athletics governing body the IAAF has installed an air quality monitor at the Sydney Olympic Park Athletics Centre.
IAAF President Sebastian Coe, accompanied by Athletics Australia President Mark Arbib, switched on the device this week, the first air quality monitor in the Southern Hemisphere and the third installed at athletics stadiums as part of the IAAF’s five-year partnership with UN Environment, which is designed to create greater global awareness and promote action on air pollution.
Advising that the ultimate aim of the program is to develop an air quality monitoring network linking 1,000 IAAF-certified tracks around the world, Lord Coe advised “we are all advocating and promoting more active lifestyles across the age spectrum and in all communities in order to fight the increasing sedentary lifestyles which in themselves cause heart disease, diabetes and other prolonged medical illnesses.
“But with over half the world’s population living in urban areas in 2015 and rising to a predicted 60% by 2030, according to the World Health Organization - that is double the 30% of the world’s population who lived in urban areas back in 1950 - it is vital that we ensure we are not swapping one set of serious health risks for another. In the same way as the quality of water we drink is vital, it is high time that we are all equally demanding about the quality of air we breathe.”
The IAAF’s goal is to help the global efforts of organisations like UN Environment and WHO by gathering data, conducting studies and helping to raise awareness and educate people on air quality.
The IAAF’s ambition is to install a clean air monitor in all 1,000 IAAF-certified track around the world over the next five years in partnership with UNEP.
The data will be available to the cities the tracks are in and, in time, will enable the IAAF to conduct meaningful performance studies with athletes who train and compete on these tracks and in these stadiums and use this information to benefit communities.
Lord Coe added “we are installing air quality monitors in six athletics stadiums in different parts of the world – in Monaco (installed in September), Addis Ababa (November), Sydney today and Mexico City, South America and Japan being installed over the next two months.
“We will run this pilot for the best part of a year to understand more about the data we can collect and, in that time, we hope to conduct one or two controlled studies on athlete performance and how their performances correlate to the quality of air they are breathing.”
The monitoring devices, produced by the Spanish firm Kunak, will collect real time air quality data, measuring levels of several pollutants including PM2.5 (particles), PM10, O3 and NO2, which research shows are the four main elements that have an impact on the performance of athletes.
9th March 2018 - IAAF enters global ticketing services partnership with Ticketmaster
28th February 2018 - Melbourne laneways go green in bid to cool city centre
17th August 2017 - World athletics looks to Qatar after IAAF World Championships flag hand over
2nd June 2017 - Phil Jones resigns from Athletics Australia Chief Executive role
14th October 2016 - Mark Arbib elected to the AOC Executive
20th October 2015 - Coe outlines plans for new structures within the IAAF
1st February 2015 - Report suggests elite and grassroots sport at risk from climate change
23rd October 2014 - Athletes inducted into SOPAC Path of Champions
7th October 2013 - Major events disrupted by northern China pollution
10th July 2012 - Government stamps biological passport for athletes
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