To support World Athletics’ vision to ‘use the power and accessibility of athletics and our athletes to create a healthier and fitter world’, a global search was conducted in January to fill the new position of Head of Global Development.
Laurent Boquillet, who has spent his entire career in athletics in a diverse range of roles, most recently as CEO of the European Athletics Championships Paris 2020, has been appointed to the role and starts with World Athletics on 1 July 2020.
Commenting on the appointment, World Athletics Director of International Relations and Development, Helen Delany said:
“Laurent’s experience, relationships and track record across many aspects of our sport made him a standout choice for this new role. Development right across our sport is an important priority. Our Member Federations, elite athletes and our elite competition rely on a strong base of coaches, technical officials and volunteers as well as clubs and school programme structures that create pathways from the playground to the podium.
“We are accelerating our efforts across all these areas over the next four years with the introduction of an e-learning platform for all skill-based and certification-based learning, including management and gender leadership programmes. We will also be introducing a kids’ athletics programme that can be tailored and adapted by our 214 Member Federations to support their goals, their national sport agendas and provide children around the world with the opportunity to participate in athletics. Laurent already has a full in-tray.”
Starting out in the sport as a professional triathlete between 1984-1990, which included being crowned European Champion in 1986, Boquillet has worked in the commercial and marketing side of athletics managing elite athletes and their development programmes as well as event organisation and management for a number of national, regional and international meetings, including as Director of the Diamond League in Paris and Vice President (event marketing) of the French Track and Field Federation (FFA) where he chaired the development commission.
Boquillet has also developed and delivered coaching and kids programmes across a number of different countries and continents. He continues to coach today, has been an active volunteer in the sport for over 20 years and has for the last five years chaired the largest athletics club in France – Entente Sarthe Athletisme – with 2,500 members.
Commenting on his appointment, Laurent Boquillet said: “Development underpins competition at every level of athletics. This role is a fantastic opportunity for me to bring together my previous experiences from a number of different aspects of the sport to drive development with our Member Federations and the six Area Associations. The development needs of all the 214 members will be different and we need to respect that, but there is a single goal common to each Member Federation which is to grow the sport of athletics across the world. This new role excites and inspires me and I join World Athletics at a time when it is showing great leadership, innovation and drive and I am looking forward to being part of this.”
Boquillet will take up his position on 1 July and will be based in Monaco at World Athletics Head Office.