Sebastian Coe's challenge: "How to involve young people?" GETTY IMAGES

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe has called for "change" and a move away from routine. He also has some messages for athletes and organisers on how to make the sport more attractive to future generations. Speaking to the World Athletics podcast 'Inside Track', the Briton said.

"I think our challenge is no different from any other sport, it's the holy grail. How do you engage young people, how do you stay exciting, how do you stay prominent, how do you fit into their landscape - that is the holy grail in any sport. 

This is the question posed by Sebastian Coe, President of World Athletics and double Olympic 1,500m champion in 1980 and 1984. Focusing on young people as the foundation for the future in all areas of life, Coe points out: "There are many things that we have become comfortable with over the last 150 years that we need to change. His comments are part of the World Athletics podcast "Inside Track".

Coe is confident because he claims there has never been so much talent among athletes. "With all due respect to the athletes, your passport is your performance. You enter this landscape by running fast, by jumping high, but to really make a difference, you have to go beyond the track. You have to take the time and be willing to share it. Sometimes it is really painful to have to think about things other than training. But it helps the pie to grow," he continued.

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe insists:
World Athletics President Sebastian Coe insists: "Sport needs to change". GETTY IMAGES 

His experience as an athlete guides many of his actions, and he offered some useful advice for athletes and organisers in the run-up to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. "For athletes, it's always been a consistent message, and I know it from my own career: athletes tend to do things in an Olympic year that they wouldn't normally do in another year, and I just tell them not to play with the variables."

For the President of World Athletics, it is important to "keep your feet on the ground". Do not change what you are comfortable with. Friends and family, for example. Just because it is an Olympic year, "you should not suddenly try to change what has worked for you."

There was also a message for the organisers. For example, the need to focus on the athlete in order to make a good Games. The athlete is the protagonist and if the organisers focus on them, think of them, "it will be a good Games."

Two-time Olympic champion Coe was interviewed by double Olympic and world 400m gold medallist Sanya Richards-Ross for World Athletics' Inside Track podcast. The changes Coe believes in are based on reaching a younger audience by making their sport more appealing. "All those things are what we are looking at and we have an innovation unit for that," said Coe.