A new logo reflecting the 50th anniversary of European Athletics has been unveiled and will be used throughout the year while the past five decades will be celebrated in style at the European Athletics Convention in Tallinn, Estonia on 15-17 October.
The roots of European Athletics date back to 1933 when the IAAF Council appointed a permanent European Committee which met for the first time on 7 January 1934 but it was not until 7 November 1970 that the European Athletic Association (EAA) - as European Athletics was known from 1970 until 2004 - came into being.
European Athletics President Svein Arne Hansen is the fifth President of the organisation since its formation in 1970 and he is greatly looking forward to celebrating European Athletics’ Golden Jubilee during 2020.
“I described 2019 as the year of innovation and 2020 will be a year of celebration. We will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of European Athletics and I am especially pleased this milestone falls in the same year as the European Championships in Paris which was where the very first Congress took place in 1970,” said President Hansen.
“My involvement in the sport even predates this and I can say athletics has changed enormously in this time. Only 29 nations competed at the 1971 European Championships and it was only in 1978 that women could compete in a distance beyond 1500m. At the 2018 European Championships in Berlin, we had athletes from 50 nations competing and the women’s 50km race walk was added to the competition programme for the first time.
“We still have challenges to overcome but we also have a lot to be proud of both on and off the track. I look forward not only to the European Championships in Paris this summer but also to welcoming the European Athletics family at the European Athletics Convention in Tallinn in October where we will celebrate in style and also look to the next 50 years,” added President Hansen.
The European Athletics calendar has expanded significantly in the last five decades and especially over the last decade. The European Athletics U18 Championships was added to the competition programme in 2016 followed by The Match in 2019 while the 2018 European Championships in Berlin was the first to be part of the wider multi-sport European Championships programme.
There are now 51 European Athletics Member Federations with Kosovo being the most recent addition in 2015.