IAAF hammers home tsunami relief support with donation of $250,000 to JAAF delegation in Daegu
DAEGU, August 30, 2011 - At the exact moment that Japan's Koji Murofushi captured the Hammer Throw gold medal on the third day (29) of the IAAF World Championships, Daegu 2011, the IAAF was marking the resilience and spirit which the Japanese nation has shown since the tsunami tragedy engulfed their country on 11 March this year.
Within days of the disaster befalling Japan, IAAF President made the decision to continue with a long planned visit to IAAF Marketing Partner Dentsu and sponsor partners in Tokyo, in order to offer in person the IAAF's sympathy, condolences and support at the nation's hour of need.
Yesterday evening (29), the IAAF reinforced that commitment and support for the Japanese people. In the IAAF President's 'Sky Box' in Daegu Stadium, President Lamine Diack and General Secretary Pierre Weiss met with Japan Association of Athletics Federation's (JAAF) President Yohei Kono and Japan's IAAF Council Member Katsuyuki Tanaka to present JAAF with an IAAF cheque of $250,000 in order to assist the rebuilding of their shattered society.
"In March only a few days after the tsunami hit I was in Tokyo visiting our partners," confirmed President Diack. "I had been expecting the visit would have to be postponed having seen on television the scale of the disaster which had happened but I decided that it was best to go and give my support."
"What I saw was a lesson for us all, to see a country which had been through such a disaster, continue to live and determinedly get on with daily life. I was so moved that when I returned I was determined that the IAAF should contribute some help to Japan, and therefore I'm delighted to present this cheque of $250,000 from the IAAF to JAAF."
On receiving the cheque, JAAF President Kono replied, "we greatly appreciated your warm words at the time of the disaster and now your financial contribution to help the victims. We really appreciate the warm friendship that exists between JAAF and IAAF."
"The money will be used to help the athletics community in our country rebuild as a whole. It will help establish athletics competitions in the areas of Japan which have most suffered by the tragedy. It will also directly help elementary school children and the Kids' Athletics programme in Japan," confirmed Kono.
In conclusion, President Diack summed-up a special night for JAAF, commenting to President Kono, "You must be really happy with the Hammer Throw victory. What perfect timing!"