A total of 84 participants from 50 countries gathered in the Austrian capital city of Vienna for the European Athletics High Performance Conference on 10-12 March.
The three-day conference was jointly opened by European Athletics President Svein Arne Hansen and Austrian Athletics Federation President Sonja Spendelhofer on the Friday afternoon before a wide range of topics covering all aspects of the sport were addressed by some of the continent’s most respected and renowned coaches.
The first day focused largely on national systems and best performers. Former German national coach Wolfgang Ritzdorf focused on jumps; FIDAL high performance director Elio Locatelli focused on the best national systems for sprints, running and walks; while leading German coach Rene Sack focused on the throws.
The second day of the conference began with Frank Dick providing medal analysis from major championships last year within the framework of the current Olympic cycle followed by DLV head coach Idriss Gonschinska looking at the transition from the U20 to senior ranks. Former Polish 400m runner Piotr Haczek then used case studies of three medallists to present their career path through timelines and performance targets before Head of Sports Physiology of the Aspire Academy in Doha Marco Cardinale talked on the development of high performance systems.
The second afternoon focused on performance factors with workshops on the role of therapists, doctors and physiologists; clubs, federations and managers; and media and sponsors in the context of high performance.
After a Sunday morning debrief, European Athletics Vice President Jean Gracia closed the three-day conference on the Sunday morning. In his closing remarks, he said: “This conference is important for the development of European Athletics and its Member Federations in the field of athletes’ high-performance.”