The International Athletics Foundation’s (IAF) primary mission is to charitably assist the world governing body for track and field athletics – the International Association of Athletics Federations – and its affiliated national governing bodies in perpetuating the development and promotion of athletics worldwide.
Through its support of a variety of programmes and projects including educational, scientific, technical, promotional and social activities, the foundation strives to aid athletes, administrators, coaches, national athletics federations and others to practice all forms of athletics in the best of conditions.
With the kind personal support of His Serene Highness, Prince Albert II of Monaco, who also acts as the foundation’s honorary president, the foundation is especially interested in spreading the universal message of one of the purest of humankind’s sports, regardless of race, religion, colour or country of origin.
All foundation projects and programmes are administered by an Executive Committee and a Council whose decisions are implemented by a secretariat located in Monaco. The current IAF Council is composed by:
- Honorary President: HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco
- President: Sebastian Coe
- Vice President: Arne Ljungqvist
- Members of the Executive Committee: Sergey Bubka, Ollan Cassell, Bernard Fautrier
- Members of the Council: Prince Nawaf Bin Mohammed Al Saud, Nawal El Moutawakel, Amadeo Francis, Roberto Gesta de Melo, Junk Ki Park
The IAF has also five Honorary Members:
Since its creation, the IAF has sponsored more than 300 projects, investing more than 30 million dollars in the promotion and the development of athletics worldwide.
Foundation projects include educational courses, seminars, conferences and the like to promote a better knowledge of the sport of athletics as well as to better understand its past, present and future. Activities also include exhibitions of a social, scientific and technical nature in order to continually expand the horizons of the sport and those responsible for administering it. Where possible, the foundation also exceptionally assists deserving athletes, students and federations in realising their full potential where conditions would otherwise not permit.
Established by the IAAF in 1986 thanks to the dynamic vision of the late IAAF president, Primo Nebiolo, the foundation was formally inaugurated in the Principality of Monaco following a ministerial decree by the minister of State of Monaco on November 28, 1986. Nebiolo remained the foundation’s only president until his untimely passing in November 1999.
World Athletics Gala
Each year the foundation, together with the IAAF, organises in Monaco the "World Athletics Gala" aimed at celebrating the world’s greatest athletes of past and present. During the Gala, the foundation names the male and female Athletes of the Year as well as other special awards for career achievement, outstanding youth performances and more. The ceremonies are presided over by HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco.
The World Athletics Gala is proudly sponsored by Compagnie Monegasque de Banque and IAAF Official Supplier Mondo.
IAF Athletes of the Year
1988 Carl Lewis (USA) – Florence Griffith-Joyner (USA)
1989 Roger Kingdom (USA) – Ana Fidelia Quirot (CUB)
1990 Steve Backley (GBR) – Merlene Ottey (JAM)
1991 Carl Lewis (USA) – Katrin Krabbe (GER)
1992 Kevin Young (USA) – Heike Henkel (GER)
1993 Colin Jackson (GBR) – Sally Gunnell (GBR)
1994 Noureddine Morceli (ALG) – Jackie Joyner-Kersee (USA)
1995 Jonathan Edwards (GBR) – Gwen Torrence (USA)
1996 Michael Johnson (USA) – Svetlana Masterkova (RUS)
1997 Wilson Kipketer (DEN) – Marion Jones (USA)
1998 Haile Gebrselassie (ETH) – Marion Jones (USA)
1999 Michael Johnson (USA) – Gabriela Szabo (ROM)
2000 Jan Zelezny (CZE)
2001 Hicham El Guerrouj (MAR) – Stacy Dragila (USA)
2002 Hicham El Guerrouj (MAR) – Paula Radcliffe (GBR)
2003 Hicham El Guerrouj (MAR) – Hestrie Cloete (RSA)
2004 Kenenisa Bekele (ETH) – Yelena Isinbayeva (RUS)
2005 Kenenisa Bekele (ETH) – Yelena Isinbayeva (RUS)
2006 Asafa Powell (JAM) – Sanya Richards (USA)
2007 Tyson Gay (USA) – Meseret Defar (ETH)
2008 Usain Bolt (JAM) – Yelena Isinbayeva (RUS)
2009 Usain Bolt (JAM) – Sanya Richards (USA)
2010 David Rudisha (KEN) – Blanka Vlasic (CRO)
2011 Usain Bolt (JAM) – Sally Pearson (AUS)
2012 Usain Bolt (JAM) – Allyson Felix (USA)
2013 Usain Bolt (JAM) – Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (JAM)
2014 Renaud Lavillenie (FRA) – Valerie Adams (NZL)
2015 Ashton Eaton (USA) – Genzebe Dibaba (ETH)
2016 Usain Bolt (JAM) – Almaz Ayana (ETH)