EACA to patronize the 2024 Pole Vault Convention in Padova

The Padova Pole Vault Convention is an international convention on study and training of pole vault. It is a a unique formula in Europe consisting of workshops and competition. Born from the union of sports and training with the intention of sharing experiences, inspiration and motivation related to the world of pole vaulting. It is organized by Gruppo Asta Padova, a long-established movement that has mainly been training athletes and technicians specialised in pole vaulting since 1968, which has as its star athlete Elisa Molinarolo, world finalist in Budapest 2023 and Tokyo Olympian. The convention is also organized by Sport & Marketing, a team that consists of several professionals with years of experience in communication and event organisation, founded by Gianfranco Beda, former pole vaulter.

Starting from this edition, the European Athletics Coaches Association will patronize the event, with the aim to extend it with the High Jump, bringing back to life the event that our beloved Wolfgang Ritzdorf used to organize in Cologne.

The convention has the technical support of ESSX Europe, that will made available for athlete poles to be used during the competition. Registration for the competition are now open only to athletes that wants to participate also to the convention day, registration for the competition only will open later.


  • Greg & Helena Duplantis (coaches of Mondo Duplantis)
  • Philippe d’Encausse (coach of Renaud Lavillenie and French Pole Vault Team)
  • Herbert Czingon (biomechanical and one of the best German coach)
  • Scott Simpson (coach of Holly Bradshaw, Head of Field and Combined Events for UK Athletics)
  • Johan Cassirame (manage the biomechanical program for French Federation, obtained data of the 6m22 jumps of Mondo Duplantis)

Discount coupons reserved to EACA website’s members:

EACA15 for the on site ticket

EACA20 for the online ticket



  • Jan 5th: International Competition
  • Jan 6th: Pole Vault Convention
  • Jan 7th: Training session with speakers (only in the morning)


Palaindoor Padova, Italy


Check our website for info and tickets


We’re back to being active

Last weeks have been really challenging for the EACA staff. Shaun’s loss brought a big hole in our souls and it was an overall de-stabilizing event. It impacted our lives and all the EACA projects, because Shaun was not only a beloved friend but also an active member of the staff and an incredible source of knowledge, contacts and ideas.
The best thing we can do, now and in the future, to keep him alive in our hearts is to show the same spirit he showed for his whole life.
So, we will soon come out with initiatives in his memory that will start from the next International Festival of Athletics Coaching in November.

To apologise with our website’s members, we are pleased to announce the following changes:

Free Members have now access to IFAC 2014 presentations and videos
Premium Members have now access to IFAC 2017 videos
Pro Members can now download presentations from IFAC 2021 and 2022

Soon we will work on all the other projects that we temporarly suspended, like the EACA web series and the Mentoring Programme.

Next International Festival of Athletics Coaching is scheduled November 3-5, 2023 in Padova, Italy, just like last year.
The programme of the conference is almost final. We will fill the last slots available during the WA Championships in Budapest where we will try to catch some successful coach.
However, many great speakers are already confirmed: Carola Becker (nutrition), Liz McColgan (Endurance), Laurent Meuwly (Sprints and Hurdles), Marco Airale (Sprints and Hurdles), Aston Moore (Long and Triple Jump), Scott Simpson (Pole Vault), Mantas Jusis (Discus), Paolo Dal Soglio (Shot Put), Arne Gullich (Youth Development), Nick Winkelman and Vern Gambetta (Coaching).

Until July 31st the last Early Bird sale is open, which grants a 25% discount to everyone on the Full Conference on site and online tickets!
EACA website’s Premium members have a 30% discount, while EACA website’s Pro members have a 50% discount.

We are also thrilled to inform our members that the Global Athletics Coaching Academy announced the 2023 WA Coaches’ Club in Budapest!

As usual, the Coaches’ Club programme is very fluid and filled ‘on the fly’, catching the most successful coaches during the WA Championships.
However, the format is already clear:

August 21st and August 22nd the WA Championships programme has no morning session scheduled so the Coaches’ Club will deliver a symposium from 09:00 to 13:30 CEST

Every day from August 19th and August 27th at 14:30 CEST a panel of experts including Rita Engelbrecht, Sue Humphrey, Terry Crawford, Charles Clinton, Gunter Lange, Les Gramantik, Malcolm Coomber and Randy Huntingdon and moderated by Frank Dick will discuss about WA Championships previous day results

Every day from August 19th and August 27th at 15:45 CEST it’s time for coaches interviews.

The 2023 Budapest WA Championships Coaches’ Club is a FREE event for everyone. You just need to register filling a form: visit the 2023 Budapest Coaches’ Club page on the GACA website.

Download the 2023 Budapest Coaches’ Club Flyer

EACA staff will play a key role in Budapest, providing its expertise coming from IFAC and 2022 Coaches’ Clubs, so we hope that you will join the Coaches’ Club, on site or remotely, and enjoy it!en

Shaun Pickering – A Fond Farewell to a Dedicated Coach and Friend

In the realm of European Athletics and its vibrant community of coaches, there are individuals who leave an indelible mark because of their passion, knowledge, and unwavering dedication. Today, we gather to bid a heartfelt farewell to our dear friend and colleague, Shaun, who was a remarkable shot putter, discus thrower, and truly exceptional coach. His presence within the European Athletics Coaches Association and his contributions to the organisation’s educational events have been invaluable, shaping the lives of countless coaches and athletes.

Shaun was more than just a coach; he was a beacon of light for all who had the privilege of knowing him. His love of track and field was infectious, and his untiring passion breathed life into every educational event he organised. Through his expertise and guidance, he cultivated a community of coaches who relied on his wisdom and who shared his enthusiasm.

As a former shot putter and discus thrower, Shaun brought a wealth of experience to his coaching endeavours. His deep understanding of the technicalities and nuances of these disciplines made him a treasured resource. He selflessly shared his knowledge, thereby empowering coaches to refine their athletes’ techniques in order to achieve their full potential.

Beyond his athletic prowess, Shaun played a pivotal role in embracing technology for the benefit of coaches. His visionary mindset and dedication led to advancements in coaching tools and resources. His commitment to improving the accessibility and quality of educational events through technology-driven solutions transformed the landscape of coach development.

Shaun’s impact extended far beyond the educational events he spearheaded. He developed relationships with coaches worldwide, fostering a sense of camaraderie and collaboration. His ability to connect with individuals, bridging gaps and nurturing a supportive community was truly remarkable.

As we bid farewell to our dear friend, we remember both his warmth and his infectious laughter. He had a lifelong and steadfast dedication to the sport. The memories we have of Shaun during educational events and beyond will forever hold a special place in our hearts. His legacy will continue to inspire coaches, athletes, and all those touched by his kindness.

In the European Athletics Coaches Association, we mourn the loss of a dear friend, an exceptional coach, and a true advocate for the advancement of track and field. Shaun’s passion, knowledge, and commitment will forever remain an integral part of our shared journey. As we continue to organise educational events and shape the future of coaching, we pay homage to his memory, carrying his spirit within us.

For all those who would like to bring one last goodbye to Shaun, you can come next Monday 12 June at 12.00 at the Enfield Crematorium, Great Cambridge Road EN1 4DS.
Afterwards Forty Hall (Banquet Suite) at 13.30, Forty Hill EN2 9HA

Farewell, dear friend, and thank you for the invaluable impact you have made on our lives.

Dr. Wolfgang Ritzdorf

10 February 1955 - 12 April 2023

What a very special privilege it is to walk some steps in our life with a giant. For that is how all in athletics coaching saw Wolfgang Ritzdorf.
Wolfgang was a truly great person, a deeply valued friend and both a ground breaker and world leader as a coach to athletes and to coaches across the Globe. He prepared athletes such as Ulrike Meyfarth and Heike Henkel personally to Olympic Gold and others through their coaches to mount the high jump podium at Olympic, World and World Junior, European and European Junior Championships and at other W.A. Area and National Championships too.

His masterpiece World Leading High Jump and Pole Vault Conference in Cologne influenced athlete performance and coach preparation again to podium level in Pole Vault at Olympic, World, European, other Area and National levels.

His leadership of the W.A. CECS Editorial Board and programme made coach development in athletics the cutting edge of International Federation Coach Education and Certification programmes.

Wolfgang was a tireless member of EACA council and supporter of IFAC. When asked to present or lead a jumps dedicated part of IFAC, he always accepted, no matter how many commitments he was already handling.
And all of this on top of his prestigeous position as Senior Lecturer and Head of the Athletics Department at the German Sport University Cologne. Whether as teacher, speaker or researcher in high jump, coaching and performance theory and practice his impact has been significant and substantial.

In his many article and papers in W.A. New studies in Athletics and other international journals, he set the benchmark of quality.
At any championships or games at any level in the world you will find coaches or athletes whose athletics career or indeed lives he has advantaged.

The immense strength of character of this great person saw him face this dreadful illness with unmatchable courage till the end.
When he closed his eyes for the last time, he must have reflected with real pride that in his life he changed the world of coaching in athletics not only for this generation, but for generations to come.

His life was our profound gain, his passing is our profound loss.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Doro and the family.

Thank you, Wolfgang, for the privilege of walking these steps with you.
EACA invites coaches and athletes to send their personal reflection of their experience of working with our friend and colleague.

Marco Airale’s mentoring DAY TWO! Saturday, April 22nd, 2023

EACA Mentoring Programme announcement
Palaindoor Padova will host the Pole Vault next month!
European Athletics Coaches Association European Athletics Coaches Association
Bridging Coaches to Knowledge
Marco Airale's mentoring DAY TWO!
Saturday, April 22nd, 2023

Ticket sales for Marco Airale's mentoring - Day 2 - are open for everyone.


Marco will lead a training session at the outdoor facility in Abano Terme (Padova) or, in case of rainy weather, at same venue of IFAC 2022, the Palaindoor of Padova.

Day 2 date is next April 22nd at 09:00 CET.


Only 10 (ten) seats are available to atttend in person and the ticket sales will open on EACA website.


The initiative will be also streamed live, but no recordings will be taken.


Apart from the fee for the mentor, EACA will not charge any cost to the coaches attending on site, so EACA membership discounts cannot be applied to the cost of tickets to attend in person.

However, the discounts will be applied to the cost of the ticket to attend online.

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IFAC 2023: NEW Early Bird Sale at 30% OFF!

IFAC 2023 NEW Early Bird Sale (30% OFF) OPENS TOMORROW!
Only 30 Tickets for the Full Conference ON SITE, plus 60 Tickets for the ONLINE Streaming
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IFAC 2023

30% OFF on:

  • up to 30 Full Conference ON SITE tickets
  • up to 60 Full Conference Live ONLINE streaming


Tomorrow, April 1st, the sales are open to EACA Members only. EACA PRO Members can benefit of the 50% discount included in their membership.


Sunday, April 2nd, the sales will open to everyone.


ON SITE ticket includes:

  • Coffee breaks
  • Saturday lunch
  • Full-HD recording of the whole conference (included in the ONLINE streaming ticket too)
Get it
Updated confirmed speakers list:
Carola Becker
Jonas Dodoo
Vern Gambetta
Laurent Meuwly
Nick Winkelman

The official conference's hotel is 4* Crowne Plaza.

A 3* option will be available later.

Transportation service will be provided from and to Venice VCE Airport and the Conference's venues from and to Crowne Plaza Hotel only.

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EACA Coaching Superstar Winner!

The first edition of the EACA Coach Superstar and EACA Coach Rising Star AWARD is closed!

It was very fun and engaging, also for us  to see your preference. A special thanks to the Federations for the nominees and…


Very proud that women and men are getting always better and reach so important achievements in the Athletics.

Award Criteria:

  • Nominees should have made a particular impact between November 2021 and November 2022.
  • The Nominee should belong to a European Athletics Member Federation.
  • For the SUPER STAR: Outstanding lifetime contribution to athletics as a coach.
  • For the RISING STAR: The nominee should have coached for a minimum of 2 years in athletics.


First and foremost...

Laurent was voted the Swiss Athletics Coach of the Year 2009. In 2010, he took over the position of Swiss Athletics Regional Head for Western Switzerland and the responsibility for the National Performance Centre in Lausanne/ Aigle.
On April 1, 2019, Laurent joined the Dutch Athletics Association as National Coach.
From 2019, He is Coach to Femke Bol who performed fantastically:

  • Olympics bronze medalist in the 400 m hurdles with the current European record of 52.03 seconds, becoming the third-fastest woman of all time and the first Dutch Olympic medalist at the event.
  • A triple gold medalist at the European Outdoor Championships in the unique combination of 400 flat and 400 hurdles plus she also took gold with the relay ladies in the 4 x 400m.
  • This came after two silver medals at the Eugene 2022 World Championships (400m individual and relay) this, in addition to many other top performances whilst being coached by Laurent

Why the nominee is OUTSTANDING?

He demonstrates a willingness to work on specifics, automatisms, versatility and the team spirit.
All this makes Laurent believe that smaller countries can battle with the bigger countries’ teams for medals!
Undoubtedly, Dutch teams have made a big impact in the 2022 athletic season at the World and European Championships.

EACA Coaching Rising Star Winner!

The first edition of the EACA Coach Superstar and EACA Coach Rising Star AWARD is closed!

It was very fun and engaging, also for us  to see your preference. A special thanks to the Federations for the nominees and…


Very proud that women and men are getting always better and reach so important achievements in the Athletics.

Award Criteria:

  • Nominees should have made a particular impact between November 2021 and November 2022.
  • The Nominee should belong to a European Athletics Member Federation.
  • For the SUPER STAR: Outstanding lifetime contribution to athletics as a coach.
  • For the RISING STAR: The nominee should have coached for a minimum of 2 years in athletics.



Lituanian Federation


Mantas has coached the 19 year old, Mykolos Aleknas to the silver medal at the 2022 World Championships, becoming the youngest world discus medalist in history.

Following that Alekna became the youngest ever winner in his discipline at the 2022 European Championships (69,78m), setting the competition record in the process. In 2021 Mykolos Aleknas was coached by Mantas to the World Under-20 and European U20 champion (69,81m).

Mykolas is the son of Olympic double discus throw champion Virgilijus Alekna

Why the nominee is OUTSTANDING?

The impressive achievements of the season of the young discus thrower Mykolas Aleknas has also led to personal elevation for his coach; Mantas Jusis. In 2022 Mantas was honored with the title Best Coach of the Year and has made a bold prediction about when Mykolas will surpass his father.