2012 Innovation Award category winners named

European Athletics today announced the winners of the five categories of the 2012 European Athletics Innovation Awards, including the first-ever joint winners in the Promotion category.

Making the announcement, Dr Sylvia Barlag, the European Athletics Council member who chaired the six member international awards jury, said "it has been a real challenge to pick the winner in most categories as both the number and overall quality of the entries were outstanding."

"On behalf of European Athletics, I want to thank all those who invested their time and effort to make athletics better by entering projects, especially the young people. After very careful consideration, the judges finally arrived at a list of category winners, all of which have the potential to lead to a significant improvement in the way things are done in our sport."

The winning projects are:
• Coaching Category – "New Insights Into Sprint Biomechanics and Determinants of Elite 100m Performance" by Jean-Benoit Morin (FRA), Pierre Samozino (FRA), Pascal Edouard (FRA)

• Technology Category- "Automatic Race Start Detecting Signal for Hearing Impaired Athletes" by Valentín Rocandio (ESP), Antonio Cid (ESP)

• Sustainability Category – "Introducing, Developing, and Implementing of Sustainability Projects in Athletic Club Velenje" by Luka Steiner (SLO)

• Promotion Category (joint 1st place) - "Improving Competition Organisation Using Web Application" by Michele Fortunato (ITA) and "Young Leader - To create the Volunteers of Tomorrow" by Charlotte Svensen (NOR)

• Open Category – "Running with Poles: An Efficient Training Method Eliminating Overstraining of Athlete's Feet" by Aleš Tvrzník (CZE), Milan Kůtek (CZE)

This year's contest, the eighth edition of the biennial competition, attracted a record 46 entry files with authors from 21 countries. The evaluation criteria were "quality" and "relevance to athletics".

Each of the winning project teams will receive a cash prize of CHF 2,000 and their entries will be eligible for the overall prize of CHF 10,000, which will be awarded at the European Athletics Awards Dinner in St Julians, Malta, on Saturday 13 October.

The overall winner and the entries awarded Honourable Mention will be announced next week.

The European Athletics Innovation Awards were created to encourage research and the sharing of new ideas leading to the promotion and development of the sport of athletics. The competition was initiated in 1998 as the European Athletics Science Awards and is open to sport scientists, coaches, and students anywhere in Europe.