IFAC brings the curtain down on the 2018 Coaching Summit Series


The International Festival of Athletics Coaching (IFAC) programme from 4-6 January incorporated both presentations as well as practical demonstrations led by some of the sport's foremost coaches.

More than 70 delegates from 22 countries as far afield as the United States, Sri Lanka and Singapore gathered at the UK Elite Athlete Centre in Loughborough this weekend for the International Festival of Athletics Coaching (IFAC) from 4-6 January, the final event of the European Athletics Coaching Summit Series.

European Athletics launched its Coaching Summit Series in 2008 and forms an important part of European Athletics’ overall coaching strategy. The series has been held every year since its inception and each athletics discipline is featured in every two year cycle.

The three day event was hugely beneficial to all who attended, incorporating presentations, discussions and practical demonstrations and workshops from some of the world’s foremost athletics coaches, sports scientists and other prominent figures. Not only did the IFAC allow delegates to expand their knowledge, it provided the chance to socialise and network with their peers as well.

The IFAC was jointly opened by European Athletics Vice President Jean Gracia and European Athletics Coaches Association President and conference organiser Frank Dick. The stage was then left to Dr. Steve Ingham - performance scientist to athletes across all sports including Jessica Ennis-Hill - who provided one of the first day highlights with a presentation entitled ‘Supporting Champions.’

The second day of the programme was an event-specific one with separate day-long workshops on multi-events, speed, endurance and strength which all comprised both theoretical presentations and practical demonstrations. The four workshops were led by Jerome Simian, Jonas Dodoo, Gunter Lange and Rene Sack - all of whom have experience coaching leading international athletes.  

The final day concluded with a keynote speech from Frank Dick entitled ‘Coaching Excellence’ before an insightful roundtable discussion on women in sport featuring Baroness Sue Campbell, the chairperson of UK Sport from 2003 to 2013. The programme also included another presentation from Gunter Lange entitled ‘World Class Coaching Structures in Clubs and Federations’ before Frank Dick gave his closing remarks to round off another successful staging of the IFAC.

European Athletics works closely with and provides financial support to the independent organisers of the summits, thereby assuring participants a quality learning experience. 

The calendar for the 2019 Coaching Summit Series will be released later in the year.