11 August 2011

Gathering momentum for awareness campaigns

WADA is looking to build on the growing momentum of ‘Say NO! To Doping’ as more and more sports organizations around the world utilize the user-friendly, turn-key awareness campaign.

Launched in 2010, Say NO! To Doping has enjoyed considerable success as a platform for bodies to unite behind in their support of doping-free sport. WADA expects the impact of its message will continue to grow in the build up to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) was the first to adopt the campaign at their world championships in Germany last year, using the idea of a green practice puck to deliver its message.

Since then FIFA, the International Rugby Board (IRB), the International Triathlon Union (ITU) and International Floorball Federation (IFF) are some of the governing bodies to have incorporated elements of it into their anti-doping awareness campaigns.

The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) and national anti-doping organizations in Brazil, South Africa and Finland have also used it as a template for their messaging.

“Say NO! To Doping has been endorsed by some of the biggest sports federations in the world, and our aim at WADA to get as many organizations on board as possible,” explained Stacey Spletzer, WADA’s Outreach and Communications Senior Manager,

“Awareness is a vital tool in the fight against doping in sport - if young athletes and fans see their heroes associating with the anti-doping message, then it will hopefully have a knock-on effect.

“There is no reason why every sports organization and sports event cannot to have its own anti-doping campaign, and the concept behind Say NO! To Doping is to help them in that goal.”

One of the ways for an organization to adopt the campaign is by having a piece of equipment integral to their sport produced in green and with Say NO! To Doping branding.

That piece of equipment can then be introduced at training camps or during warm-ups at major competitions. Banners, leaflets, merchandising are also covered in WADA’s Say NO! To Doping guidelines.