Not only were the male and female Rising Stars and European Athletes of the Year announced and presented with their awards, the European Athletics Golden Tracks award ceremony in Vilnius, Lithuania on Saturday (14) evening also recognised outstanding coaches and women’s leaders in athletics.
The annual European Athletics Coaching Awards celebrates the important contributions made by coaches to the sport of athletics and are the centrepiece of European Athletics’ strategy to promote coaching at all levels of the sport. This year, a total of 40 coaches representing 25 Member Federations will receive the award.
Aldona Dobregiene and Viktoras Meskauskas from Lithuania were invited to the Golden Tracks to be the first to collect their awards as representatives of all the winners. They received their awards from European Athletics Vice President Jean Gracia and the remaining winners will receive their awards at national ceremonies in the upcoming months.
The biennial European Athletics Women’s Leadership Awards were created in 2009 to promote the development of women leaders and gender equity in the sport and recognise their achievements.
Each Member Federations was asked to identify one winner for her work and accomplishments as a coach, volunteer, administrator or elected official. The main criterion is “a significant contribution that serves as an example of leadership and other values of the sport of athletics” and 19 women’s leaders representing 19 Member Federations will be recognised for their contributions.
The first to be recognised was Nijole Medvedeva from Lithuania who received the awards and artwork prizes at the Golden Tracks on behalf of all the national winners from Jean Gracia. The remaining winners will receive their awards and artwork prizes in local ceremonies organised by their national Member Federations.