Training courses for track and field athletes from developing countries since 1978
Twelve scholarship holders from Africa, Asia, and South America completed the 35th degree course at the Mainz Academy for Foreign Coaches. The course has a duration of 14 months and is designed to train special coaches for track and field sports. The German Athletics Association (DLV) and the Institute of Sports Science at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) have been commissioned by the German Federal Foreign Office to provide the course in close collaboration. More than 400 coaches have completed the course at the JGU Institute of Sports Science since its inception in 1978. Previous participants from more than 80 different countries have since returned to their native lands to become national coaches and head coaches, university and sports academy instructors, functionaries in national organizations, or decision makers in government ministries.
Once they have completed a four-month crash course in German at the JGU Foreign Language Center, the scholarship holders start with the theoretical and practical aspects of track and field sports, including disciplines such as running, jumping, and throwing as well as combined events, which qualifies them as coaches for high-performance sports. But this is only one of the educational objectives. The Mainz sports lecturers also deliberately emphasize how light athletics can also function as a popular sport. Parts of the coursework are tailored to meet the needs and specific situations of children, young people, and schools. Knowledge of how to organize competitions, the functioning of associations, and the promotion of cooperation between schools, sports clubs, and sports associations are also covered in the curriculum, as are exercise and movement science, sports medicine and sports psychology, sports and competition administration.