History and Perspectives of EUCAPA

The European Congress of Adapted Physical Activity (EUCAPA) has been in existence since 1986. It was organized for the first time by Jean-Claude DePotter, at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (B), in order to establish a European branch of the international federation (IFAPA). DePotter then became president of IFAPA (1987-1991) and was a very active collaborator for the development of the respective study programs (EMDAPA and DEUAPA). The chair persons of the European Association of Research into Adapted Physical Activity (EARAPA) in the following years have been:

  • Dr. Gudrun Doll-Tepper, Free University Berlin, Germany (1987-1993)
  • Dr. Herman Van Coppenolle, K.U. Leuven, Belgium (1993-2002)
  • Dr. Maria Dinold, University of Vienna, Austria (2002-2006)

In 2004, the association was renamed as the European Federation of Adapted Physical Activity (EUFAPA).

  • Dr. Maria Dinold, University of Vienna, Austria (2002-2006)
  • Dr. Jean-Claude DePotter, Belguim (2006-2010)
  • Dr. Martin Kudláček, Palacky University, Olomouc, Czech Republic (2010-2014)
  • Dr. Jose Pedro Ferreira, University of Coimbra, Portugal (2014-2018)
  • Dr. Aija Klavina, Latvian Academy of Sport Education, Latvia (2018-2022 + 2024*)
    • Extended due to change of voting schedule & COVID-19 changes

It can be stated that the scientific exchange within these European meetings became more intensive due to the smaller participant rate and more time for discussions. On the other hand, the different national partners have acknowledged barriers to understanding because of the many different languages within Europe. The regional organisers try to form connections with practitioners in the field by providing special offers for them – such as workshops for planning and evaluating APA programmes, development of single case studies, or similar.

EUCAPA history in nutshell

  • 1986 Brussels (Belgium)
  • 1993 Leuven (Belgium)
  • 1995 Leuven (Belgium)
  • 1998 Thessaloniki (Greece)
  • 2001 Vienna (Austria)
  • 2002 Amiens (France)
  • 2004 Dortmund (Germany)
  • 2006 Olomouc (Czech Republic)
  • 2008 Torino (Italy)
  • 2010 Jyväskylä (Finland)
  • 2012 Killarney (Ireland)
  • 2014 Madrid (Spain)
  • 2016 Olomouc (Czech Republic)
  • 2018 Worcester (England)
  • 2020 EUCAPA lite (Elche, Spain)
  • 2022 Coimbra (Portugal)
  • 2024 Sevilla (Spain)
  • 2026 scheduled for Prague (Czechia)


The EUFAPA-European professional award for outstanding achievements in the field of APA on an international level:

  • 2008 Prof. Dr. Jean-Claude De Potter (Belgium)
  • 2010 Prof. Dr. Gudrun Doll-Tepper (Germany)
  • 2012 Prof. Dr. Yves Eberhard (France)
  • 2014 Mr. Jyrki Vilhu (Finland)
  • 2016 Prof. Dr. Yves Vanlandewyck (Belgium)
  • 2018 Trevor Williams (posthumous)
  • 2020 – no award due to COVID-19
  • 2022 Prof. Dr. Pauli Rintala (Finland)
  • 2024: to be announced in Seville