The first WMA Championships was held in Toronto in 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.

The Organizing Committee

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

Click On the ink to Download the PDF

Click On the ink to Download the PDF

Click On the ink to Download the PDF

Sacramento World Championships 2011

The Male Competitors who competed in Toronto 1975

Jerry Smartt USA, Derek Howarth UK, Ed Whitlock CAN, 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 passed away in 2017

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)

Irene has been invited to TO2020 as our guest.

1975 Opening Ceremonies

Ralph Lang (L) is still competing

Cross Country start in Sunnybrook Park

1975 Bling