The Amateur Athletic Association (AAA) was founded in 1880, the governing body for athletics throughout England and Wales and the first national governing body for the sport in the world. The influence of the AAA was soon felt worldwide as other countries followed suit, modelling their governing bodies on the example set by the AAA. From the outset, the AAA championships were thrown open to the world and until the Olympics started to come into their own, the championships were regarded as the most prestigious of all. AAA rules for competition were implemented for the first modern Olympic Games in 1896.
In 1991, the organisation merged with the Women’s Amateur Athletic Association, which, formed in 1922, was the governing body for women’s athletics in England. The combined Associations formed the AAA of England. It continued as the governing body for athletics England and Wales until 2006 when England Athletics came into being, taking over governance of the sport.
In 2006 the AAA of England, recognising its changed role amended its constitution, reverting to the original title of Amateur Athletic Association. The AAA sees its future as encouraging and supporting young athletes and preserving the history of athletics. In 1959 the AAA introduced a graded standards scheme which provided measures of attainment in all events for youth, junior and senior athletes, and awards for outstanding performances. England Athletics as the governing body are taking the Standards scheme forward, in partnership with the AAA.
The AAA support the work of AAA Charity for the Young, which has its own board of trustees, giving small grants to young athletes helping them in the early stages of their careers through The Young Athletes Grant Scheme.
The organisation is also, in effect, the trustee of the history of the sport and sees itself as the sports archivist. It works to preserve the legacy of athletics in this country by recording stories and preserving artefacts associated with the history of athletics, including the valuable and historic AAA trophies.
The AAA sees itself as an independent voice for the voluntary sector within the sport.
“No organisation has played a more central role in the world history of athletics than the AAA.”
— Chris Chataway, 2011
AAA Athletics for the Young Charity
The AAA has a fund which is able to support English athletes under the age of 23 who are in full time education and active in athletics. Applicants should not be receiving other funding and must be eligible to compete for England.
- Download the Athletics for the Young Charity 2023 application form (deadline: 13 February 2023)
Registered charity Athletics for the Young offer financial help to young athletes and aim to spread their money widely to as many as possible so athletes receiving help elsewhere will not usually be granted an award. The charity are particularly interested in helping genuine hardship cases for promising young athletes. Over recent years, it has been the policy of the Charity to award small grants of the order of £50 to £200. It is possible to apply for funds for costs including equipment and travel.
- Are you involved in the sport of athletics?
- Are you in full time education in England?
- Do you have recorded Power of Ten performances?
- Do you have your own bank account?
- Has this application been completed by the applicant?
- Are you over 13 years old and under 23 years of age
For queries please email AFTYGrant@outlook.com
- Charity number: 1004448
The organisation has guardianship of many historic and valuable trophies which are awarded annually to elite athletes. The AAA has undertaken to conserve and maintain these trophies, many of which date back to the start of athletics competition in England, preserving them for years to come.
The Athletics Museum (TAM)
The AAA has initiated a project to establish a museum dedicated to athletics as part of its legacy to the sport. At present in its infancy, The Athletics Museum exists as a digital only space.
- Visit The Athletics Museum
Digital exhibitions celebrating the achievements of athletes, coaches and volunteers who have contributed to the history of the sport are planned. There is also work ongoing to establish a physical museum to house, amongst other athletic memorabilia, the historic trophy collection.
- Chairman – Walter Nicholls
- Treasurer – Mike Welford
- Honorary Secretary – Geoff Durbin
AGM documents are available for download on the right-hand side of this page.
- Company registration: 456808
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Address: AAA, Unit 11 Wincham Avenue, Wincham, Cheshire, CW9 6GB
Company registration: 456808