Six member federations were nominated for the World Athletics award ©World Athletics

World Athletics has announced Kenya, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Palestine, Peru and Poland as the nominees for their Member Federation Award, which seeks to recognise the hosting of an uplifting athletics event, development event or other athletics achievement despite the challenges of 2020.

The governing body said its member federations were among the first to adapt to the new circumstances when the coronavirus crisis struck.

World Athletics say they helped to ensure that the sport would continue to move forward and serve its athletes, fans and greater community.

"We all know the difficulties that sport has faced during the pandemic but many of our Member Federations have risen to that challenge brilliantly and we wanted to acknowledge some of the exceptional work they have done to ensure that our sport continues to thrive in these very testing times," said Sebastian Coe, World Athletics President

"The commitment and creativity shown by our Member Federations demonstrates exactly why we are the world’s most global sport and I applaud their efforts."

Each Area Association was asked to nominate two Member Federations, with World Athletics’ Executive Board then determining the six finalists, one from each area.

Athletics Kenya were nominated from the Confederation of African Athletics after organising the Kip Keino Classic.

The event was held despite nationwide lockdowns and other disruptions, with the competition marking the the first World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting held in Africa.

World Athletics said Kenyan athletes have also competed well internationally, sweeping the team titles at the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships in Gdynia with women's winner, Peres Jepchirchir, breaking the women-only race world record.

The country has, however, continued to be dogged by a growing list of doping violations by its athletes.

Holding the inaugural Kip Keino Classic in Nairobi helped Athletics Kenya secure a nomination  ©Getty Images
Holding the inaugural Kip Keino Classic in Nairobi helped Athletics Kenya secure a nomination  ©Getty Images

Athletics New Zealand were nominated by the Oceania Athletics Association after holding virtual events during the lockdown period in the nation, prior to live competitions.

World Athletics said the Rotorua Marathon in September also marked one of the first mass participation events to take place in the world since March.

The Nicaraguan Athletics Federation was nominated by the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletics Association after playing a leading role in helping other sports adapt to the health and safety protocols the pandemic required.

The national federation also prioritised holding events for children and young people to encourage mental and physical well-being, following guidance from UNICEF.

Palestine Athletic Federation secured Asian Athletics Association’s nomination after being among the first federations to host both Coaches Education and Certification System (CECS) Level 1 and Level 2 courses in an online format.

The federation also conducted other online seminars during the various lockdown phases.

Confederation of South American Athletics nominee is the Peruvian Athletics Federation.

The federation was viewed as one of the most active in keeping the athletics community involved in the sport through a variety of virtual events.

This included training programmes, seminars and coaching advice sessions, with a Saturday morning physical education session specifically targeting children considered the most successful.

The Polish Athletics Association complete the six nominees, after delivering much of the country's competitive calendar in spite of the pandemic.

This included the staging of three World Athletics Continental Tour competitions, two in Chorzow and one in Bydgoszcz.

Working with the Organising Committee and local authorities, the federation also held the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships in Gdynia.

The winner will be announced at the World Athletics Awards.

The event will be held virtually on December 5 and streamed live on the World Athletics YouTube channel, Facebook page and via Twitter.