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Every month the Federation selects an NGB to profile to see how they are getting on, what events are coming up and all the information you might need to know about them. This month, the Federation has looked at Athletics Ireland


It is accepted that the organisation was formed in 1873 and adopted the trading name of Athletics Ireland in 1999. Athletics Ireland is the National Governing Body for track & field, cross country, race walking and road running in Ireland. Internationally aligned with the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), Athletics Ireland is affiliated to the European Athletic Association (EAA). On top of this it is also a member of the Olympic Council of Ireland.

The primary objective is to promote and develop the sport at every level from recreational running and schools competitions through to supporting Ireland’s elite athletes in international competition. Athletics is run by a board of elected volunteer members who work in tandem with full time staff based in Dublin as well as around the country. What is vitally important is the strong volunteer ethos within the organisation. The thousands of administrators, officials and coaches who give freely of their time are imperative to Athletics Irelands success.


There are 320 affiliated clubs in Ireland with a combined membership of just under 50,000.

Fact File:

  • Athletic contests in running, walking, jumping, and throwing are among the oldest of all sports dating back as far as 2250BC
  • A standard outdoor track is in the shape of a stadium, 400 metres in length and has at least 8 lanes that are 1.22 metres in width.
  • The international governing body, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) was founded in 1912 and overlooks 213 member nations and territories, which are divided into six continental areas.
  • These six area associations are:

–          Asian Athletics Association (AAA)

–          Confederation of African Athletics (CAA)

–          South American Athletics Confederation (CONSUDATLE)

–          North America, Central America and Caribbean Athletic Association (NACACAA)

–          European Athletic Association (EAA)

–          Oceania Athletics Association (OAA)



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2013 Highlights:

  • Rob Heffernan won Gold in the 50 km Race Walk at the IAAF World Championship in Moscow, Russia.
  • Fionnuala Britton came 4th in the Cross Country 8 km at the 20th European Cross Country Championships in Belgrade, Serbia
  • There were 12 medals won at Major championships and 31 new National Irish Records set.
  • Athletic Ireland hosted the European Team Championships which saw 700 athletes from 12 countries compete for honours in Morton Stadium, Santry.
  • The Athletics Ireland membership increased to 49,500 up 17% on 2012 with 14 new clubs formed; making it one of Ireland’s fastest growing sports
  • Appointment of its first full time coach Chris Jones, as National Endurance Coach and over 1,200 coaches undertook a coach education programme


Key Programmes:

Athletics Ireland launched a new Strategic Plan in 2013

The Mission of Athletics Ireland

Athletics Ireland has a mission to support and develop the athletes of Ireland of all ages, disciplines and abilities.

Strategic priorities for the period 2013 to 2016:

  • To promote the growth of the sport of athletics, health and fitness generally among our members.
  • To support the achievements of our elite athletes, in particular by implementing the High Performance Plan already published.
  • To build on the existing base of Coaches and Officials.
  • To promote the sport of athletics among Juveniles and Schools.
  • To promote health and fitness in the population as a whole.
  • To further develop the supporting infrastructure.
  • To ensure good governance and financial stability.





Athletics published a ‘High Performance Plan 2013-2016’. The key points of this High Performance Plan are:

  • 1st plan of its type in Irish athletics
  • Ambition is to have “more Irish athletes winning on world stage”
  • Target 24 medal opportunities at major championships
  • Provides both a vision and a practical framework for success
  • It’s an evidence and systems based approach which is sustainable in the long term
  • It’s designed to provide athletes with support across every aspect of High Performance
  • Will require change of approach – from AAI, athletes, coaches
  • It’s an investment in the future of Irish athletics
  • High Performance strategies are proven to deliver success


Key Events in 2014

European Athletics Track & Field Championships, 12th August, Zurich

Youth Olympic Games, 16th August, China

European Cross Country Championships, 13th December, Bulgaria


Contact Info

All contact information can be found at the official website:

Twitter: @irishathletics


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