WAAA Championships

The WAAA Championships was an annual track and field competition organised by the Women's Amateur Athletic Association (WAAA) in England. It was the foremost domestic athletics event for women during its lifetime.

WAAA Championships
Athletics pictogram.svg
SportTrack and field
Founded1923
Ceased2006
CountryEngland/United Kingdom

Since 1880, the Amateur Athletic Association of England had held the AAA Championships, but it admitted men only and did not wish to include women.[1] Women's clubs and competitions were typically separate from the men's and in line with growing interest in the sport the WAAA was founded in 1922.[2] Several contests in the country were approved by the WAAA with "Championships of England" status that year, and this was subsequently replaced with an organised WAAA Championships in 1923.[3] Aside from the 1927 championships in Reading, Berkshire, the WAAA track and field event was based at various locations in London up to 1939.[4] The competition was interrupted by World War II but was re-instigated in 1945 and remained in London until a move to Birmingham in 1985.[5][3]

As women's athletics developed in the 20th century, major international men's and women's events typically were held in conjunction, with women first appearing on the Olympic athletics programme in 1928 and the European Athletics Championships being fully combined by its third edition in 1946.[6][7] The AAA and WAAA events remained divided for much longer and it was not until 1988 that the women's events were merged into an all-gender AAA Championships in 1988, though the WAAA remained the organiser of the women's events.[3] This change came during a period of reform that would see the sport fully professionalise and, in the UK, organisation move to national level.

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.[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.[3]

EventsEdit

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

  • Sprint: 100 m, 200 m, 400 m
  • Distance track events: 800 m, 1500 m, 3000 m (until 1999) 5000 m
  • Hurdles: 100 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. 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 200 metres hurdles was on the programme from 1961 to 1972, before being dropped in favour of the 400 metres hurdles. A 60 metres event was available from 1935 to 1950. A women's mile run was first contested in 1936, indicating a growing acceptance to women taking part in distance events. The 3000 metres was introduced in 1968 and lasted until 1999. The standard 5000 metres and 10,000 metres events came after, being first held in 1980 as non-championship events before achieving full status.[3]

The field events expanded roughly in line with international changes. The triple jump first appeared in 1989, followed by championship events in pole vault and hammer throw in 1993, bringing women to parity with men in field events. A women's pentathlon (first held in 1949) was replaced with a heptathlon in 1981.[3]

Racewalking events underwent progressive change in distance, from 880 yards (1923–1927), to one mile (1928–1932), rounded down to 1600 m in 1933 to 1939, back to one mile (1945–1958), up to 1.5 miles (1960–68), then 2500 m (1969–1972), 3000 m in 1973 and 1974, before finally reaching the 5000 m distance in 1975. A 10,000 m walk was introduced in 1978.[3] A variety of relay races were contested by clubs prior to 1960.[5]

EditionsEdit

# Year Date Venue Stadium Notes
1922 Various Various Championships status provided to several events
1 1923 London Bromley, Oxo Sports Ground
2 1924 London
3 1925 London Stamford Bridge
4 1926 London Stamford Bridge
5 1927 Reading
6 1928 London Stamford Bridge
7 1929 London Stamford Bridge
8 1930 London Stamford Bridge
9 1931 London Stamford Bridge
10 1932 London Stamford Bridge
11 1933 London White City Stadium
12 1934 London Hampstead Heath
13 1935 London White City Stadium
14 1936 London White City Stadium
15 1937 7 August London White City Stadium
16 1938 London White City Stadium
17 1939 London White City Stadium
Not held 1940 to 1944 due to World War II
18 1945 London Tooting Bec Athletics Track
19 1946 London White City Stadium
20 1947 2 August London Polytechnic Stadium
21 1948 26 June London Polytechnic Stadium
22 1949 London White City Stadium
23 1950 London White City Stadium
24 1951 London White City Stadium
25 1952 14 June London White City Stadium
26 1953 London White City Stadium
27 1954 London White City Stadium
28 1955 London White City Stadium
29 1956 London White City Stadium
30 1957 London White City Stadium
31 1958 7 June London Motspur Park
32 1959 4 July London Motspur Park
33 1960 1–2 July London White City Stadium Pentathlon held in Birmingham
34 1961 8 July London White City Stadium Pentathlon held in Birmingham
35 1962 London White City Stadium Pentathlon held separately in London
36 1963 6 July London White City Stadium 100 m hurdles held in Watford, Pentathlon held in Leamington Spa
37 1964 4 July London White City Stadium 100 m hurdles held in Watford, Pentathlon held in Birmingham
38 1965 3 July London White City Stadium 100 m hurdles held in Wolverhampton, Pentathlon held separately in London
39 1966 1 July London White City Stadium 200 m hurdles held in Watford, Pentathlon held in Birmingham
40 1967 London White City Stadium 200 m hurdles held in Manchester, Pentathlon held in Solihull
41 1968 19–20 July London Crystal Palace National Sports Centre Imperial distance events replaced with metric distances
3000 m and 200 m hurdles held in Crawley
42 1969 19 July London Crystal Palace National Sports Centre 3000 m and 200 m hurdles held in Manchester, Pentathlon held in Birmingham
43 1970 27 June London Crystal Palace National Sports Centre
44 1971 17 July London Crystal Palace National Sports Centre Pentathlon held in Birmingham
45 1972 London Crystal Palace National Sports Centre
46 1973 London Crystal Palace National Sports Centre Pentathlon held in Warley, Essex
47 1974 London Crystal Palace National Sports Centre
48 1975 London Crystal Palace National Sports Centre
49 1976 London Crystal Palace National Sports Centre
50 1977 London Crystal Palace National Sports Centre Pentathlon and 5000 m walk held in Wolverhampton
51 1978 London Crystal Palace National Sports Centre Pentathlon and 5000 m walk held in Birmingham
52 1979 London Crystal Palace National Sports Centre Pentathlon and 5000 m walk held in Birmingham, 10,000 m walk held in Hornchurch
53 1980 London Crystal Palace National Sports Centre 10K run and pentathlon held in Birmingham
54 1981 25 July London Crystal Palace National Sports Centre 10,000 metres held in Enfield, heptathlon held in Birmingham
55 1982 London Crystal Palace National Sports Centre 3000 and 10,000 metres and heptathlon held in Birmingham
56 1983 30 July London Crystal Palace National Sports Centre 3000 and 10,000 metres and heptathlon held in Birmingham, 10,000 m walk held in Kirkby
57 1984 London Crystal Palace National Sports Centre 10,000 m and heptathlon held at Herne Hill, 10,000 m walk held in Birmingham
58 1985 26–27 July Birmingham Alexander Stadium 10,000 m and heptathlon held in Bournemouth, 10,000 m walk held in London
59 1986 6–7 June Birmingham Alexander Stadium 10,000 m and heptathlon held in Hull, 10,000 m walk held in London
60 1987 Birmingham Alexander Stadium 10,000 m and heptathlon held in Stoke-on-Trent, 10,000 m walk held in Middlesbrough
1988 5–7 August Birmingham Alexander Stadium Olympic trials, women's championships held in conjunction with men's for first time
5000 and 10,000 metres and heptathlon held in Stoke-on-Trent, 10,000 m walk held in London
1989 11–13 August Birmingham Alexander Stadium 5000 metres and heptathlon held in Stoke-on-Trent, triple jump held in Middlesbrough, 10 km walk held in Leeds
1990 3–4 August Birmingham Alexander Stadium 5000 metres and heptathlon and triple jump held in Stoke-on-Trent, 10,000 m held in Portsmouth, 10,000 m walk held in London
1991 26–27 July Birmingham Alexander Stadium 10,000 m walk, 5000 metres and heptathlon held in Stoke-on-Trent, 10,000 m held in Cardiff
1992 27–28 July Birmingham Alexander Stadium Olympic trials
5000 metres and hammer throw held in Stoke-on-Trent, 10,000 m and heptathlon held in Sheffield
1993 16–17 July Birmingham Alexander Stadium 3000 metres held in London, 10,000 m held in Portsmouth, heptathlon and 10,000 m walk held in Horsham
1994 11–12 July Sheffield Don Valley Stadium 5000 metres held in Birmingham, heptathlon and 5000 m walk held in Horsham, 10,000 m walk held in Bolton
1995 15–16 July Birmingham Alexander Stadium 10,000 m held in Bedford, heptathlon held in Stoke-on-Trent, 10,000 m walk held in Watford
1996 14–16 July Birmingham Alexander Stadium Olympic trials
heptathlon held in Bedford, 10,000 m walk held in Enfield
1997 24–25 July Birmingham Alexander Stadium Heptathlon held in Sheffield, 10,000 m walk held in Worcester
1998 24–26 July Birmingham Alexander Stadium 3000 metres held in Sheffield, 10,000 m held in Bedford, Heptathlon held in Derby, 10,000 m walk held in Basildon
1999 23–25 July Birmingham Alexander Stadium New javelin model introduced
3000 metres held in Sheffield, 10,000 m held in Watford, Heptathlon held in Hexham
2000 11–13 July Birmingham Alexander Stadium Olympic trials
10,000 m held in Watford, Heptathlon held in Stoke-on-Trent
2001 13–15 July Birmingham Alexander Stadium 10,000 m held in Watford, Heptathlon held in Bedford
2002 12–14 July Birmingham Alexander Stadium 10,000 m held in Manchester, Heptathlon held in Wrexham
2003 25–27 July Birmingham Alexander Stadium 10,000 m held in Watford, Heptathlon held in Stoke-on-Trent
2004 10–11 July Manchester Sportcity Olympic trials
10,000 m held in Watford, heptathlon held in Stoke-on-Trent
2005 9–10 July Manchester Sportcity 10,000 m held in Watford, heptathlon held in Hexham
2006 15–16 July Manchester Sportcity 10,000 m held in Watford, heptathlon held in Stoke-on-Trent

Most successful athletes by eventEdit

Event Women Women's titles
100 metres Joice Maduaka 5
200 metres Kathy Smallwood-Cook 6
400 metres Joslyn Hoyte-Smith
Linda Keough
3
800 metres Kelly Holmes 7
1500 metres Hayley Tullett 4
3000 metres Yvonne Murray 4
5000 metres Hayley Yelling 3
10,000 metres Hayley Yelling 3
3000 m steeplechase Tina Brown 2
100 m hurdles Sally Gunnell 7
200 m hurdles Pat Nutting
Pat Jones
3
400 m hurdles Gowry Retchakan 5
High jump Dorothy Tyler 8
Pole vault Janine Whitlock 6
Long jump Ethel Raby 6
Triple jump Michelle Griffith 5
Shot put Judy Oakes 17
Discus throw Suzanne Allday 7
Hammer throw Lorraine Shaw 6
Javelin throw Tessa Sanderson 10
Combined events Mary Peters 8
3000/5000 m race walk Betty Sworowski 4
10,000 m race walk Irene Bateman
Helen Elleker
Betty Sworowski
Vicky Lupton
3

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ AAA Championships. GBR Athletics. Retrieved 2018-04-04.
  2. ^ About Athletics. Sheffield Hallam University. Retrieved 2018-04-04.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g AAA Championships (Women). GBR Athletics. Retrieved 2018-04-04.
  4. ^ WAAA Championships (1923-1939). GBR Athletics. Retrieved 2018-04-04.
  5. ^ a b British Athletics Championships 1945-1959. GBR Athletics. Retrieved 2018-04-04.
  6. ^ Olympic Games (Women). GBR Athletics. Retrieved 2018-04-04.
  7. ^ European Championships (Women). GBR Athletics. Retrieved 2018-04-04.
  8. ^ AAA, WAAA and National Championships Medallists. National Union of Track and Field Statisticians. Retrieved 2018-04-04.
Editions