Early 2013 the Athletic Directors Hans Engl from the International School of Zug and Luzern and Patrick Macazaga from the International School of Geneva met at ISZL’s Luzern Campus one day to brainstorm a new sports conference for Varsity teams. Their goal was simple – form a new conference with other schools around Europe who faced similar challenges of finding tournaments that provide reliable, high calibre, end-of-season finales to wrap up the seasons. After further discussions, strategic planning and putting some of these ideas to paper, they made the leap and sent out their proposal to neighbouring international schools. The effort and networking paid off – support from schools in Germany, Spain, Italy and Switzerland rolled in. After drafting a charter, bylaws, and conference name – the European Sports Conference or ESC, was born. In the first season, the European Sports Conference attracted nine schools in total for the initial season in 2013-14.

Tournaments will be held at conference schools around Europe as end-of-the-season competitions in the fall, winter and spring seasons. Realizing that some sports have limited teams available to compete, it was decided that the conference tournaments would be flexible so that non-member teams could participate. The ESC has built in some flexibility that allows for great competition. Other international schools may only have one sport they can participate in, or they belong to other conferences such as ISST that have different season schedules. Under the bylaws, non-member schools can participate by joining the conference on a per-tournament basis and pay single tournament fees.

The conference encourages these and one of its goals is that each athlete is given the opportunity to demonstrate his/her best athletic ability while maintaining a spirit of respect and co-operation with fellow athletes from various international schools. This spirit is demonstrated by fair play among athletes, positive encouragement from coaches and respectful enthusiasm from spectators. The conference also promotes participation from all members of a team during tournaments.

The conference inauguration was held in September 2013 at the International School of Geneva, where certificates were presented to the nine founding schools by school Director General Vicky Tuck. She noted that this was an historic moment in an historic place, as the International Baccalaureate was founded there 45 years ago.