The first WMA Championships was held in Toronto in 1975
Organizing Committee 1975
1975 – Toronto
1977 – Gottenburg, Sweden
1979 – Hannover, Germany
1981 – Christchurch, New Zealand
1983 – San Juan, Puerto Rico
1985 – Rome, Italy
1987 – Melbourne, Australia
1989 – Eugene, Oregon
1991 – Turku, Finland
1993 – Miyazaki, Japan
1995 – Buffalo, USA
1997 – Durban, South Africa
1999 – Gateshead, England
2001 – Brisbane, Australia
2003 – Carolina, Puerto Rico
2005 – Donostia, Spain
2007 – Riccione, Italy
2009 – Lahti, Finland
2011 – Sacramento, USA
2013 – Puerto Alegre, Brazil
2015 – Lyon, France
2016 – Perth, Australia
2018 – Malaga, Spain
In Memory of Don Farquharson
Founder of World Masters Athletics
As mentioned in the ‘Financials – Budgeting and Marketing Strategies’ of this Bid Package, we anticipate leaving a legacy through our involvement in the WMA Championships. While we will put all of our resources into making the WMA Championships a first class event at all levels, we know that any international event of this nature leaves a lasting and important footprint on the sport and the country.
In fact, in communicating with our NGB, Athletics Canada, about our intentions to bid for the Championships, their first question was about legacy. We all believe that these Championships are about more than simply handing out medals. They are also about providing a lasting and meaningful benefit to our athletes, our sport and the community.
This legacy will, therefore, be both material and social. New and ancillary equipment purchases will be donated as appropriate to either the participating venues or partnering clubs and organizations. While our country is rich is sports history, we have fewer available training sites and less equipment than we should, and the opportunity to increase the available equipment is an important one.
Moreover, the Championships will receive some attention in the media and through social media as well. Positioned in the same timeframe as the 2020 Olympics in Japan, the world’s attention will be focused, at least for a short while, on amateur sport. We will take advantage of this attention by enhancing opportunities for local citizens and athletes to join the masters’ movement and get involved in the sport. We are all aware that there are a huge number of masters’ aged runners who participate regularly in long distance races and marathons. Our intent is to broaden that scope by engaging older athletes to compete in other athletics disciplines as well.
In addition, our work with Toronto Track Volunteers (noted in the section on ‘Master Athletics in Canada’), will provide over 100 young volunteers with a unique experience that could assist them in looking for future jobs and other workplace positions. Our experience is that most of these well trained volunteers will also continue to work with athletics competitions and, in some cases, they will become certified officials of the sport.
Finally, the Championships will provide upgrading opportunities to our existing and new officials who will be keen to increase their certification levels and add to their knowledge. International events like this are a draw for our officials, most of whom provide volunteer service to the sport and expect little in return. Providing them with a chance to work with international class athletes and an upgrading opportunity at the same time is vital to our ongoing partnership.
Toronto hosted the first World Masters Track and Field Championships in 1975
WAVA – World Association of Veteran Athletes
(changed to World Masters Athletics)
The Organizing Committee
Sacramento World Championships 2011
The Male Competitors who competed in Toronto 1975
Jerry Smartt USA (since deceased), Derek Howarth UK, Ed Whitlock CAN (deceased 2017), Ron Franklin UK, Arthur Walsham UK
Ed Whitlock CAN ran the Cross Country (21st), 800m (5th),
1500m (4th), 4X400m Relay (3rd) at the 1975 Championships.
He ran the anchor leg and was the last runner on the track for the meet!
Ed is still competing in the M85 Age Group.
Irene Obera USA won the Bronze in the 100m (12.5) in TO1975
Irene is still competing – recently at the 2016 USATF Indoors (photo by Rob Jerome)
1975 Opening Ceremonies
Ralph Lang (L) is still competing
Cross Country start in Sunnybrook Park