OTTAWA – A game changing world first in the sport of athletics (track and field) was announced today by the National Track League (NTL).  For the first time in the history of the sport, a competition, in this case a complete series, will share race bib inventory with the participating athletes.  This summer the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) is celebrating its 100th anniversary, it is only natural that Canada, as one of the founding members, now helps the sport step into the 21st Century.

In his latest blog entry, Nick Symmonds, American 800-metre superstar talked about this innovative initiative, “Our neighbors to the north, who have brought us such world changing exports as Justin Bieber and poutine (I’m not ashamed to admit that I very much enjoy both), are about to do it again.  The NTL is partnering with Flotrack to deliver a series of media-covered events in which a predetermined portion of the bib will be available for athletes to recognize sponsors, support charities, raise money, or promote their websites.”

Symmonds, who founded a Facebook group in October to fight tight logo restrictions, adds, “This is the future of track and field.  You can try to fight it, or you can embrace it and be a pioneer, as the Canadians have chosen to be.  I encourage every athlete to check out the NTL’s 2012 calendar and see if they can fit one or more of these meets into their schedule.  I am currently working with my coach and agent to find a way to attend at least one.”

You can read Nick Symmonds’ full blog here.

Race bibs are used in all track and field and road racing events to identify athletes during the competition.  Bibs are often adorned with sponsors who are granted the right to display their name, logo or brand on the race bib.  In the coming weeks the NTL will finalize and make public the exact specifications of the race bib which participating athletes will own.

2012 NTL schedule

Harry Jerome International – June 10 – Vancouver, B.C.
Victoria International – June 13 – Victoria, B.C.
Donovan Bailey Invitational – June 16 – Edmonton, Alta.
Hub City Classic – July 5 – Moncton, N.-B.
Aileen Meagher Memorial – July 8 – Halifax, N.-S.
Toronto International Track + Field Games – July 11 – Toronto, Ont.

Dylan Armstrong confirmed for Edmonton

Last week the Donovan Bailey Invitational confirmed the participation of Dylan Armstrong, 2011 World Championship silver medalist and IAAF Diamond League champion.  The coming weeks will see a number of announcements from the NTL about confirmed Canadian and international track and field stars.  For more information on the National Track League and the 2012 series visit