By Mitchell Obi, AIPS Africa President
Kenenisa Bekele, holder of the world record and Olympic record in both the 5,000 and 10,000 and compatriot Haile Gebrselassie, the Ethiopian long-distance track and road running legend will attend the AIPS Executive opening on November 19 in Addis Ababa.
We have to go to the days of little beginnings. When the love to share what we have in common was overwhelming and our unity of purpose was so distinctive.
It was also the era of innocence from which pure thoughts flowed and it was said in all corners that a little sport was good for the heart.
Indeed the passion to celebrate the heroics from the sporting theatre was so strong it was easy for sports journalists to free their minds and give the public a heavy dose of enriching information.
For goodness sake the Olympic spirit was all encompassing and it was inevitable that our founding colleagues latched on to it in Paris to give us this cherished baby. 90 years on from that landmark rendezvous inside a boxing ring we have an association that has gone beyond its limited scope to make an impact not only as fighter for the independence of thought and its expression but also as a support companion for the values that lift humanity.
From November 19 to 24 the Executive Committee of AIPS will hold its first ever meeting in Africa and appropriately so in a city that has not lost its innocence.
No doubt Addis is also the city of marvelous athletics endeavor and talents. And who else will open his doors for this unforgettable insight than the great Haile Gebrselassie, the Ethiopian long-distance track and road running legend who will also be holding the annual 14th Great Ethiopian Run International 10km, Africa’s premier race on November 23.