Athletics Canada / Athletisme Canada
Founded1884; 139 years ago (1884)
AffiliationWorld Athletics
Regional affiliationNACAC
HeadquartersOttawa, Ontario
ChairmanHelen Manning
CEODavid Bedford
SponsorSport Canada
Official website

Athletics Canada or AC (French: Athlétisme Canada) is the national governing body for athletics in Canada, which includes track and field, cross-country running, road running, and race walking.[1] Based in Ottawa, Ontario, Athletics Canada is a non-profit organization. The organization is led by an elected board of directors, with a head chair, currently Helen Manning.

Athletics Canada is involved in many aspects of the sport at the local, national, and international level – providing the rules, officials, coaching education, sports science and athlete development, youth programs, masters (age 40+) competition, and an annual meeting. It also organizes annual Outdoor Track and Field Championships and Indoor Track and Field Championships.

Athletics Canada is a member of WA, IOC, IPC, EAA, NACAC, JDFL, CP-ISRA, CGF, ISBA, FISU and WADA.[2]


The sport governing body for track and field in Canada, which is now called Athletics Canada, was established in 1884. It is one of the oldest affiliated bodies with the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). Only the association of Great Britain (1880) has been in existence for a longer period of time. New Zealand followed in 1887 and the United States in 1888.

Following preliminary meetings on April 11, 1884, where the athletics associations of Quebec and Ontario sent some 50 representatives to meet at the Toronto Fencing Club, the principal business was to ratify a constitution for the newly formed Canadian Amateur Athletics Association, the forerunner of Athletics Canada.

A mere seventeen years had passed since Sir John A. Macdonald and the Fathers of Confederation had established the political entity of the Dominion of Canada, but these athletics planners already had a considerable tradition upon which to draw.

The Canadian Track and Field Championships were held in Montreal on September 27 of that year, and 20 years later, Étienne Desmarteau would win the first Olympic gold medal for Canada. George Orton, a Canadian, had won an Olympic gold in 1900, but he was competing at these second Games in Paris on an invitation from the United States.

From 1909 until the fall of 1967, the organization was known as the Canadian Track and Field Association (CTFA). However, it operated under the umbrella of the AAU of C (Amateur Athletic Union of Canada). In 1968, the IAAF (now WA) officially recognized the CTFA as an autonomous group and not part of the AAU of C. The AAU of C subsequently dissolved itself in the early 1970s as all national federations in the different sports went their own ways.

On June 17, 1990, at the annual general meeting of the CTFA, a motion was adopted to change the name to Athletics Canada. The Department of Consumer and Corporate Affairs of the Government of Canada accepted this name change officially on April 12, 1991.

Over the past two decades, Athletics Canada has welcomed under its umbrella the high performance athletes for four disability groups: wheelchair athletes joined the association in 1997 with blind, cerebral palsy, amputee athletes following in 2002.

Inclusion of these disability groups was a natural step given that the focus of the association broadened to include the delivery of similar services to all track and field high performance athletes. In the current structure, provincial disability organizations report to their respective national associations - the Canadian Wheelchair Sports Association, the Canadian Blind Sports Association, and the Canadian Cerebral Palsy Sports Association - while Athletics Canada works directly with the national offices of each disability group.[3]

In 2009 Gordon Orlikow was named Chairman of the Board of Athletics Canada.[4][5] He held the position until 2017, and led the Canadian delegation at the 2017 IAAF World Championships & Congress.[6]


Athletics Canada (119472975rr0001) was registered with the Canadian Revenue Agency as a Canadian amateur athletic association (RCAAA); therefore, they can issue official donation receipts and are eligible to receive gifts from registered charities since March 29, 1972.[7]

Provincial governing bodies

Currently there is a branch for all provinces and territories in Canada except for Nunavut.[8]

Province Federation Website Link
 British Columbia British Columbia Athletics Association
 Alberta Athletics Alberta
 Saskatchewan Saskatchewan Athletics Association
 Manitoba Athletics Manitoba
 Ontario Athletics Ontario
 Quebec Quebec Athletics Federation (Fédération Québécoise d'Athlétisme)
 New Brunswick Athletics New Brunswick
 Nova Scotia Athletics Nova Scotia
 Prince Edward Island Prince Edward Island Athletics Association
 Newfoundland and Labrador Newfoundland and Labrador Athletics Association
 Yukon Athletics Yukon
 Northwest Territories Sport North Federation

Athletics Canada Championships

University of Guelph abuse scandal

On February 8, 2020, Canadian news outlet The Globe and Mail published a story on the alleged sexual abuse by national coach Dave Scott-Thomas, he was also employed at the University of Guelph as the head of the track and field program[9] and operator of a now-defunct track club, Speed River.[10] The victim of Scott-Thomas's abuse was running prodigy Megan Brown, who was in high school and later a student-athlete at the university at the time of the abuse.[11]

The University of Guelph fired Scott-Thomas as its track and field head coach in December 2019.[12]

Athletics Canada issued a statement regarding the story on the day it was published.[13]

The Athletics Canada Athlete Council, a group of elected athletes which represent athletes who compete in the sport, released a statement two days later, condemning the organizations' lack of action.[14]

Pug suppliers

Canada's kits are currently supplied by Nike.

See also


  1. ^ Mission and Values Archived September 30, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ International Organizations Archived September 30, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Athletics Canada History Archived May 23, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Athletics Canada Chairperson". Athletics Magazine. August 5, 2009.
  5. ^ Ewing, Lori (June 13, 2013). "Canada's Dylan Armstrong close to shot put bronze from 2008 Games after athlete ban". The Globe and Mail.
  6. ^ "Gordon Orlikow to step down as Chair". Athletics Canada. June 8, 2017.
  7. ^ Canadian Revenue Agency
  8. ^ Provincial Athletics Associations Archived September 30, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Carty, Matt. "University of Guelph alleges fired track coach Dave Scott-Thomas 'lied repeatedly'". Global News. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
  10. ^ Running, Canadian. "Megan Brown shares her story about what happened at Guelph". Canadian Running Magazine. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
  11. ^ Doyle, Michael. "She was a running prodigy. He was the most powerful man in track. How her promising career unravelled". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
  12. ^ Erwing, Lori. "University of Guelph says track coach Dave Scott-Thomas should have been fired in 2006". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
  13. ^ Canada, Athletics. "Athletics Canada statement regarding Dave Scott-Thomas Globe and Mail article". Athletics Canada - Website. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
  14. ^ Athlete Council, Athletics Canada. "Athletics Canada Athlete Council - Statement". Twitter. Retrieved 10 February 2020.