IAAF teams up with eSports governing body for community programme

 
Joe Hall
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Over 200m people are estimated to watch eSports around the world. (Source: Getty)

Professional video gaming's growing legitimacy in the traditional sporting landscape has been highlighted by a new partnership between the governing bodies of athletics and eSports.

The world of super sprinters will merge with the arena of lightning-quick button-bashers as the International eSports Federation (IeSF) and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) team up to work together on a new global social responsibility programme through the latter's Athletics for a Better World initiative.

With ambassadors such as Paula Radcliffe, Athletics for a Better World will work to offer fitness programmes and training plans to professional and recreational gamers while the IeSF says it can offer access to "millennials around the globe who play and watch eSports" through popular eSports streaming platforms such as Twitch.

According to a recent report from games market researchers Newzoo, 205m people watch eSports around the world while total industry revenue is expected to top $465m (£312m) by 2017.

IAAF deputy general secretary Nick Davies said:

As the number one Olympic sport we are always looking at new ways and new means of technology to help engage young people and encourage them to take up athletics. E-Sports is one of the fastest growing sports in the world and we're delighted to become the first governing body to partner with the IeSF.

We look forward to a prosperous relationship and can't wait to start working on new and exciting opportunities together.

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