UK Counties Athletics Union

UK Counties Athletics Union

Seb Coe and Kim McDonald - Yorkshire Champs 1980This page gives information about the UK Counties Athletics Union and County Associations:
• Aims
• History
• More information
• Championship Entries
• The County Associations - including where to find out more

The Union’s main objectives are to develop and promote Inter County Competition in the various disciplines administered by UKA which are track and field, cross country, road, race walking and fell running.

The Championships are contested by all of the Counties or Athletics Associations which cover the whole of the UK. In some case the Counties are in fact areas such as East Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland West. In some cases they are Counties as defined before the 1974 and subsequent local government reorganisations such as Warwickshire which (like cricket) includes Birmingham and Yorkshire which is a single County.

SARAH CLAXTON, Julie Pratt, Kelly Sotherton Bedford 5.03The Inter County Championships are recognised as the highest level of team competition available to athletes below International level and are an important step for athletes to aspire to the highest level of achievement.  In recent years the Cross Country Championship has acted as a trial for the World Championships.

The Union also tries to help and coordinate the efforts of the individual Counties to the mutual benefit of all of them.

BERNARD, MARTYN Bedford5.05In 1925 a meeting held in the Offices of the AAA proposed that the County Associations were the proper body to be entrusted with the promotion of an Inter County Championship.  The meeting was attended by delegates from Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent, Middlesex, Norfolk, Suffolk, Surrey and Sussex. Thus the Counties Athletic Union was formed on Thursday 4th February 1926. This meeting also endorsed the staging of the first Inter County Cross Country Championship held at Beaconsfield on Saturday 3rd April 1926.

From their inception in 1925 through to the late sixties, apart from the war years 1940 - 1946, the CAU Inter County Track & Field Championships were a major international fixture held annually at the end of May, on what was then known as the Whitsun Bank Holiday.  The event has been held at the White City, Crystal Palace, Leicester, Birmingham, Corby, and in recent years at Bedford.

FRANCIS, EDEN -1- Bedford 5.07The Inter Counties Cross Country Championships equally became a major fixture in the athletics calendar and still plays an important role in endurance running, providing a high standard of competition for U13 to senior athletes.  In recent years the Championships have been held in Cofton Park, Birmingham and are screened live on television.

The inter County Race Walking Championships are hosted by the Race Walking Association. The Inter County Fell Running Championships are hosted by the Fell Running Association.

More information
For more information about the UKCAU go to its web site at

Championship entries
Click here for details of the County Cross Country Championships 2014/15 for each County.
To enter an Inter-County Championship an athlete must be selected by his or her County Association. For more details go to the County Association web sites (links below).

FARAH, MO -40-Notts02The County Associations


Northern Ireland:
Athletics Northern Ireland

Scotland East District, Scotland North District, Scotland West District 

East Wales Region, North Wales Counties, West Wales Region, South Wales Region

More information
For more information about the UK Counties Athletics Union you can visit

Pictured from top: Seb Coe and Kim McDonald in the 1980 Yorkshire County Championships 5000m; Kelly Sotherton (Hamps), Julie Pratt (Essex) and Sarah Claxton (Essex) in the 2003 UK CAU Inter Counties 100m hurdles, Martyn Bernard (Yorks) in the 2003 UK CAU Inter Counties High Jump, Eden Francis (Leics & Rutland) in the 2007 UK CAU Inter Counties Discus, Mo Farah (Middlesex) in the 2002 UK CAU Inter Counties Cross Country, Greg Rutherford (Bucks) in the 2010 UK CAU Inter Counties Long Jump and Hayley Yelling (Middlesex) at the 2007 UK CAU Inter Counties Cross Country.