The Track and Field Association urges the National Olympic and Sports Association of Iceland (ISI) to select the Athlete of the Year, a selection that has been out of their hands for roughly 25 years.
The Icelandic Association of Sports Broadcasters has the role of selecting the Athlete of the Year, and hosts the end of year party in cooperation with ISI. ISI gives out recognitions to athletes within individual associations which are associate members of the ISI.
The Track and Field association is not the first to challenge ISI to change the process. The Gymnastics Association and Kjalarnesþing’s UMSK youth league have both challenged the current selection procedures in previous gatherings.
A statement from the Track and Field Association reads:
“The Track and Field Association conference, held on March 16-17 in the small community of Selfoss in South Iceland, urges the ISI to nominate and select the Athlete of the Year. The selection should take into account the diversity of sports activities and individual goals, allowing members of ISI to nominate and vote for the Athlete of the Year.”
The Track and Field Association acknowledges the successful run of the selection in the last half a century as conducted and initiated primarily by the Icelandic Association of Sports Broadcasters, but states that it is time to change the procedures.
They compare the potential results of the proposed changes to art awards:
“The positive lessons we derive from the annual award ceremonies within the field of arts, such as Edda, Gríma and the Icelandic Music Award, indicates that diversity in athleticism would increase the general understanding of the nature of athletic practices. Sports are not only about training first class athletes,” The Track and Field Association told mbl.is.
They suggest a diversification of acknowledgements given to athletes. Titles such as the Team of the Year, Role Model of the Year, Leader of the Year (chosen from the ranks of representatives in various sport associations), Coach of the Year and the Sport of the Year should be included, they argue.
Athletes and fans of sports other than football and handball have often felt excluded from the selection. Last year, Annie Mist, the Fittest Woman on Earth and a world champion in Crossfit, was not a candidate due to the fact that Crossfit is not acknowledged as being a sport in Iceland.
Much fewer women have been nominated and sports other than football and handball are rarely represented.