President: Dr Frank W Dick O.B.E (GBR)


The Rome Olympics in 1960 was a major turning point in Athletics history. Europe moved out of the USA’s shadow. In 1956, the USA had 16 Golds and Europe had 11. In 1960, the USA had 12, and Europe, 19. In a new age of performance excellence where in the 34 events, 30 Olympic records were set – eight of those world records had a world best in the marathon. One of the major influences in these changes and improvements was the focus on coaching and the then emerging world of the Performance Sciences. Europe was leading the way in this and intended to continue doing so.

A visionary group of leading European Coaches met in Vincennes, Paris, they included Calvesi (Italy), Bobin (France), Korobkov (USSR), Kurelic (Yugoslavia), Nett (Federal Republic of Germany) and Dyson (UK). They agreed to create the European Athletics Coaches Association for the development of Athletics Coaching and to support Coach Education. At this time in Western Europe, only Germany (FRG) had a robust formal Coach Education and Certification Program, while in the Warsaw Pact Nations, Coach Education was formalised as University courses and Sports Sciences were already in place.

Vincennes, then, was the first EACA Conference, which since then has been hosted in more than 20 cities across Europe. The 35th conference was in Glasgow in October 2012, and has now been rebranded as the International Festival of Athletics Coaching (IFAC). The change of title is to more accurately reflect the overall learning opportunity of the conferences and the excitement of building and sharing knowledge alliances and networks of participating Coaches and Nations.

The product and service offering of EACA is primarily the International Festival of Athletics Coaching and it’s website which links IFAC, EACA, European Athletics (EA) and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

EACA is the official coaching arm of EA.

EACA and EA work together on initiatives including the Coaches Role of Honour.