AAA Championships

The AAA Championships was an annual track and field competition organised by the Amateur Athletic Association of England. It was the foremost domestic athletics event in the United Kingdom during its lifetime. It was succeeded by the British Athletics Championships.

AAA Championships
Athletics pictogram.svg
SportTrack and field
CountryEngland/United Kingdom


The competition was founded in 1880, replacing the Amateur Athletic Club (AAC) Championships, which had been held since 1866. Initially a men-only competition, a Women's AAA Championships was introduced in 1922 with the first proper WAAA Championships in 1923 and organised by the Women's Amateur Athletics Association until 1992, at which point it was folded into the Amateur Athletics Association.[1] During the 1920s and early 1930s, the AAA Championships was Europe's most prestigious athletics event until the European Athletics Championships were inaugurated in 1934.[2] Events were contested and measured in imperial units until metrification in 1969, in line with international standards.[3]

Though organised by the English governing body, it was open to all athletes from the United Kingdom, and also to overseas athletes. It served as the de facto British Championships, given the absence of such a competition for most of its history. It was typically held over two or three days over a weekend in July or August. Foreign athletes were no longer allowed to compete from 1998 onwards (with the change first being trialled in 1996), though they were still allowed to participate (but not formally placed) in the 10,000 m and marathon events.[3]

The creation of the UK Athletics Championships in 1977 under the British Amateur Athletic Board (later British Athletics Federation) marked a challenge to the event's domestic supremacy, though the quality of that rival event declined after it hosted the 1980 Olympic trials and it ceased as an annual championships after 1993, closing completely after 1997.[4] The AAA Championships incorporated the UK Olympic every four years from 1988 to 2004.[5] The women's WAAA Championships was folded into the AAA Championships in 1988.[1]

The establishment of UK Athletics in 1999 to serve as the national governing body for professional, elite athletics ultimately started the decline of the AAA Championships. UK Athletics took over the role of both national championships and international team selection with its own British Athletics Championships from 2007 onwards.[3] The AAA Championships ceased to be a stand-alone event in its own right from that point onwards, though it re-emerged in 2016 in being co-held with the English Athletics Championships organised by England Athletics (a body for developing the grassroots level beneath UK Athletics).[6][7][8]

The long-distance track events, marathon, racewalking events and combined track and field events were regularly held outside of the main track and field championship competition. Although the competition venue varied over the years, there were several locations that served as regular hosts over its history: Stamford Bridge (1886 to 1931), White City Stadium (1932 to 1970), Crystal Palace National Sports Centre (1971 to 1987) and Alexander Stadium (1984 to 2003).[5]


The following athletics events featured as standard on the main AAA Championships programme:

  • Sprint: 100 m, 200 m, 400 m
  • Distance track events: 800 m, 1500 m, 5000 m
  • Hurdles: 100 m hurdles, 110 m hurdles, 400 m hurdles, 3000 m steeplechase
  • Jumps: long jump, triple jump, high jump, pole vault
  • Throws: shot put, discus, hammer, javelin

The following events were regularly held, but often outside of the main programme:

Races were contested, and field events measured, in yards and feet up until 1968. A men's 3000 metres was contested from 1989 to 1999. A men's 10-mile run was held from 1960 to 1972. The 220 yards hurdles was present form 1952 to 1962.[5] On the women's side, the 2000 metres steeplechase was held in 2002 and 2003 before moving to the standard 3000 m distance. The 80 metres hurdles was contested until 1968 before being replaced by the new international standard 100 metres hurdles. The women's 200 metres hurdles was on the programme from 1961 to 1972. A 60 metres event was available from 1935 to 1950.[1] A variety of relay races were contested by clubs prior to 1960.


# Year Date Venue Stadium Notes
1880 London Lillie Bridge Grounds
1881 Birmingham
1882 Stoke
1883 London Lillie Bridge Grounds
1884 Birmingham Aston Lower Grounds
1885 Southport
1886 London Stamford Bridge
1887 Stourbridge
1888 Crewe
1889 London Stamford Bridge
1890 Birmingham
1891 Manchester Old Trafford
1892 London Stamford Bridge
1893 Northampton Cricket Ground
1894 Huddersfield
1895 London Stamford Bridge
1896 Northampton
1897 Manchester Fallowfield Stadium
1898 London Stamford Bridge
1899 Wolverhampton Molineux Stadium
1900 London Stamford Bridge
1901 Huddersfield Fartown Ground
1902 London Stamford Bridge
1903 Northampton
1904 Rochdale Athletic Grounds
1905 London Stamford Bridge
1906 London Stamford Bridge
1907 Manchester Fallowfield Stadium
1908 London White City Stadium
1909 London Stamford Bridge
1910 London Stamford Bridge
1911 London Stamford Bridge
1912 London Stamford Bridge
1913 London Stamford Bridge
1914 London Stamford Bridge
Not held 1915 to 1918 due to World War I
1919 London Stamford Bridge
1920 London Stamford Bridge
1921 London Stamford Bridge
1922 London Stamford Bridge
1923 London Stamford Bridge
1924 London Stamford Bridge
1925 London Stamford Bridge
1926 London Stamford Bridge
1927 London Stamford Bridge
1928 London Stamford Bridge
1929 London Stamford Bridge
1930 London Stamford Bridge
1931 London Stamford Bridge
1932 London White City Stadium
1933 London White City Stadium
1934 London White City Stadium
1935 London White City Stadium
1936 London White City Stadium
1937 London White City Stadium
1938 London White City Stadium
1939 London White City Stadium
Not held 1940 to 1945 due to World War II
1946 London White City Stadium
1947 London White City Stadium
1948 London White City Stadium
1949 London White City Stadium
1950 London White City Stadium
1951 14–15 July London White City Stadium
1952 21–22 July London White City Stadium
1953 11–12 July London White City Stadium
1954 10–11 July London White City Stadium
1955 16–17 July London White City Stadium
1956 London White City Stadium
1957 London White City Stadium
1958 11–12 July London White City Stadium
1959 London White City Stadium
1960 15–16 July London White City Stadium
1961 14–15 July London White City Stadium
1962 13–14 July London White City Stadium
1963 12–13 July London White City Stadium
1964 10–11 July London White City Stadium
1965 9–10 July London White City Stadium
1966 8–9 July London White City Stadium
1967 14–15 July London White City Stadium
1968 12–13 July London White City Stadium Imperial distance events replaced with metric distances
Women's 3000 m held in Crawley
1969 1–2 August London White City Stadium
1970 7–9 August London White City Stadium
1971 23–24 July London Crystal Palace National Sports Centre
1972 14–15 July London Crystal Palace National Sports Centre
1973 13–14 July London Crystal Palace National Sports Centre
1974 12–13 July London Crystal Palace National Sports Centre
1975 1–2 August London Crystal Palace National Sports Centre
1976 13–14 August Cwmbran Cwmbran Stadium
1977 22–23 July London Crystal Palace National Sports Centre
1978 23–24 July London Crystal Palace National Sports Centre
1979 13–14 July London Crystal Palace National Sports Centre
1980 5–6 September London Crystal Palace National Sports Centre
1981 7–8 August London Crystal Palace National Sports Centre
1982 24–25 July London Crystal Palace National Sports Centre
1983 23–24 July London Crystal Palace National Sports Centre
1984 23–24 June Birmingham Alexander Stadium 3000 metres held in London
1985 13–14 July London Crystal Palace National Sports Centre
1986 20–21 June Birmingham Alexander Stadium
1987 1–2 August London Crystal Palace National Sports Centre
1988 5–7 August Birmingham Alexander Stadium Olympic trials, women's championships held in conjunction for first time
1989 11–13 August Birmingham Alexander Stadium
1990 3–4 August Birmingham Alexander Stadium
1991 26–27 July Birmingham Alexander Stadium
1992 27–28 July Birmingham Alexander Stadium Olympic trials
1993 16–17 July Birmingham Alexander Stadium
1994 11–12 July Sheffield Don Valley Stadium
1995 15–16 July Birmingham Alexander Stadium
1996 14–16 July Birmingham Alexander Stadium Olympic trials
1997 24–25 July Birmingham Alexander Stadium
1998 24–26 July Birmingham Alexander Stadium
1999 23–25 July Birmingham Alexander Stadium
2000 11–13 July Birmingham Alexander Stadium Olympic trials
2001 13–15 July Birmingham Alexander Stadium
2002 12–14 July Birmingham Alexander Stadium
2003 25–27 July Birmingham Alexander Stadium
2004 10–11 July Manchester Sportcity Olympic trials
2005 9–10 July Manchester Sportcity
2006 15–16 July Manchester Sportcity

Most successful athletes by eventEdit

Event Men Men's titles Women Women's titles
100 metres Linford Christie 8 Joice Maduaka 5
200 metres John Regis 6 Kathy Smallwood-Cook 6
400 metres David Jenkins 6 Joslyn Hoyte-Smith
Linda Keough
800 metres Steve Ovett
Steve Cram
Curtis Robb
3 Kelly Holmes 7
1500 metres John Mayock 6 Hayley Tullett 4
3000 metres No multiple champions Yvonne Murray 4
5000 metres Eamonn Martin
Brendan Foster
3 Hayley Yelling 3
10,000 metres Dave Bedford 5 Hayley Yelling 3
3000 m steeplechase Maurice Herriott 7 Tina Brown 2
110/100 m hurdles Colin Jackson 11 Sally Gunnell 7
400 m hurdles Chris Rawlinson 6 Gowry Retchakan 5
High jump Howard Baker 6 Dorothy Tyler 8
Pole vault Tom Ray 7 Janine Whitlock 6
Long jump Peter O'Connor 6 Ethel Raby 6
Triple jump   Willem Peters (NED) 6 Michelle Griffith 5
Shot put   Denis Horgan (IRE) 13 Judy Oakes 17
Discus throw Bill Tancred 7 Suzanne Allday 7
Hammer throw Mick Jones
Tom Nicolson
6 Lorraine Shaw 6
Javelin throw Mick Hill
Dave Travis
7 Tessa Sanderson 10
Combined events Leslie Pinder 4 Mary Peters 8
3000/5000 m race walk Roger Mills 10 Betty Sworowski 4
10,000 m race walk Brian Adams 5 Irene Bateman
Helen Elleker
Betty Sworowski
Vicky Lupton

See alsoEdit

List of British athletics champions


  1. ^ a b c AAA Championships Women. GBR Athletics. Retrieved 2018-02-25.
  2. ^ "Track Stats - John Powell". Retrieved 29 October 2012. The European Championships did not begin until 1934
  3. ^ a b c AAA Championships. NUTS. Retrieved 2018-02-25.
  4. ^ UK Championships. GBR Athletics. Retrieved 2018-02-25.
  5. ^ a b c AAA Championships (Men). GBR Athletics. Retrieved 2018-02-25.
  6. ^ AAA. England Athletics. Retrieved 2018-02-25.
  7. ^ What We Do. England Athletics. Retrieved 2018-02-25.
  8. ^ Athletes on form at England Athletics Senior Championships Archived 2018-02-26 at the Wayback Machine. England Athletics (2016-07-31). Retrieved 2018-02-25.

External linksEdit