October Heinrich Clausen is Head of Organisation of the World Championships in
Athletics 2009 in Berlin. The 57 year-old already had this position at the
European Championships in Munich 2002 and was working for the continental
championships in Stuttgart 1986 as well as for the World Championships in
1993 in Stuttgart. Heiner Henze, treasurer of the German
Athletics Federation (DLV), is the honorary managing director of the Berlin
Organising Committee 2009 GmbH (BOC 2009). Heinrich Clausen already worked with
him during the preparations for the European Championships in 1986. The World
Championships will be held in Berlin’s Olympic Stadium from August 15th
to 23rd 2009.
Clausen, what is the head of organisation doing three and a half years prior to
the start of the World Championships?
Clausen: „After we built up an office the planning phase immediately began. It
is about concepts and structures as well as to distribute a master plan. In
some areas we are already in a phase of detailed planning. Hotel reservations,
the IAAF congress or concepts for the stadium are among these. We deal with questions
about infrastructure and logistics and set a budget. It is a little bit like a
baby. The human character is formed already in the first years. We have to make
sure that we’ll have a base with good initial conditions, that will
characterize the 2009 World Championships successfully.”
Do you know
what the budget will look like?
Clausen: „The total budget will be between 40 and 45 Million Euro.“
the manpower situation look like?
Clausen: „At the moment I work with a colleague in our office in the area of
the Olympic Stadium. All steps are put forward to Mister Henze. We developed a
manpower concept and will start to recruite employees soon. We already have a
marketing manager as well as a director for sport tecnique.
Thiele works for us since January 1st and already moved in our
offices. She is responsible for generating new ideas for example for the
marathon. We will soon hire a logistics manager too. I think we will have a
staff of 45 full time employees in the final phase. The latter of them will
join our team approximately one year prior to the World Championships. But the
work won’t lie only on the shoulders of our employees.
We will work together
with many honorary employees and volunteers. Some areas will be cared for by external
companies. These could be areas such as promotion, opening ceremony and the
You have a difficult situation at the moment as the public is only aware of the
soccer world cup.
What can you do and how do you see the situation after the
final on July 9th?
Clausen: „At present everything is about the soccer world cup. But we don’t
need to complain about it. Soccer is number one this year and it is a great
thing to host it in Germany and having the final in Berlin. As far as legally possible we will
try to use the soccer world cup for our own promotional points to show the
media and the public that we will have another sporting highlight in Berlin three years later.
I am convinced
that we are able to promote a similar enthusiasm for the World Championships in
Athletics as we are now experiencing for the soccer world cup. I am feeling a
really positive feedback. And I hope that we will have similar attention for
athletics after the soccer world cup.”
problems in the planing phase standing out? The demolition of the International
Congress Center (ICC) in Berlin is discussed over and over again for
In the World Championships application it was scheduled for the IAAF
Clausen: „A possible demolition of the ICC will not affect us, because the IAAF
Council meeting will take place in the Estrell Hotel. Sure there are crucial
points as everybody knows. One for example is the airport and the connected
accreditation center. But we will find a solution for that.“
the planning – what are your big goals or visions?
Clausen: „We want to develop a passion for athletics. We will try to have the
Olympic Stadium sold out at least for the evening sessions. I am confident that
we can make this. But we also want to show athletics to the young generation to
wake new enthusiasm for this sport.
We will present athletics in Berlin as
young, attractive and dynamic.”