The sport governing body for track and field in Canada, now called Athletics Canada, was established in 1889 and is one of the oldest affiliated bodies with the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), fourth only to Great Britain (1880), New Zealand (1887), and the USA (1888). Athletics Ontario (formerly the Ontario Track and Field Association) is a branch of Athletics Canada.

Until 1974, Ontario was split into three governing bodies, Southwestern, Northwestern, and Central. However, there was an interest in establishing a more efficient means of developing the sport while maintaining a system which would still enable regions to have a voice regarding major decisions in the province. As a result, a new provincial association, composed of six newly defined regions was formed in 1974, and in October 1977 the Ontario Track and Field Association became an incorporated body.


Ontarians acknowledge and support athletics as a sport important to individual and community health and fitness.


The objectives of Athletics Ontario are to:

  • Promote physical, emotional and mental well-being;
  • Promote athletics;
  • Support and assist athletes in their development;
  • Develop courses of instruction for/certification of coaches and officials; and
  • Promote and ensure competent delivery of athlete-centre recreational and competitive athletics programs in Ontario through member clubs and athletics communities.


  • Health and fitness through sports and throughout life;
  • Commitment to excellence and the highest standards of performance by athletes at all age levels;
  • Integrity, loyalty, fair play, sportsmanship, honesty, commitment, dedication, patience, mutual respect and cooperation;
  • Inclusiveness, accessibility and affordability in participation;
  • Individual development and measurable achievement encouraged by administrators, coaches, officials and staff committed to Athletics Ontario values;
  • High ethical and moral standards and practices in athletics and the governance of athletics; and
  • Prudent, transparent stewardship that demonstrates value for the investment of fiscal and human resources.

Mission Statement

Athletics Ontario’s organizational mission is to: develop, promote and ensure competent delivery of programs and competitions in athletics for the participant’s enjoyment of the sport produce highly competitive provincial, national and international athletes; and contribute to the health, fitness, social development and well-being of all participants.

Click here to view our Strategic Priorities for 2015-2018: Strategic Priorities 2015-2018

Programs & Services

Athletics Ontario provides the following programs and services to support the development of members:

Programming for Athletes

1. Sport Development Opportunities (i.e. Workshops, Club Connections, Coach Connections, etc.) for Athletic Events:

  1. Track and Field
  2. Race Walking
  3. Cross Country/ Trail or Offroad Running
  4. Road Running
  5. Para Events

2. Provincial Team Opportunities:

  1. Espoir Teams 
  2. Canada Summer Games
  3. U13 Games (*coming in 2017)
  4. Midget Dual Meet (ON vs QB)
  5. High Performance Athlete  Programs
         – Quest for Gold

Ontario High Performance Sport Initiative/ Canadian Sport Institute Ontario

3. Athlete Training and Workshops (age group and combined):

  1. Run, Jump, Throw, Wheel Programming (6-12)
  2. Minor (U13)
  3. Bantam (13/14)
  4. Midget (14/15)
  5. Youth (16/17)
  6. Junior (18/19)
  7. Senior (>20)
  8. Masters (>30)

4. Provincial Championships (i.e. Track and Field Indoor and Outdoor, 10,000m Track, Race Walk, Cross Country Championships, Road Racing (Marathon and 1/2 Marathon *coming in 2017)

5. Classification – opportunities developed and coordinated with Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) to host Classifications at Championships to establish a provisional classification or renewal

6. Club Insurance – insurance for Clubs to ensure Coaches, Athletes and Clubs are covered

7. Club Support and Resources – monthly ‘AO Connect Call’ program, governance tools/ templates, mentoring, support, etc.

8. News – website blog, updates and tools (toolbox and resources for Coaches, Clubs, Athletes), Facebook, Twitter, etc. to keep membership informed of current events

9.  Funding – AO connects members with funding opportunities, grants and support organizations

10. Preferred Rates – access to preferred rates with service providers (i.e. medals and awards, clothing/ uniforms, equipment, implements, timing/ scoring, medical providers, signage, etc.)

11. Equipment Rental – usage and rental of AO equipment to supplement a club’s inventory for meets, events or workshops

12. Rankings and Results – updated results and rankings of AO members ongoing

13. Ambassador Programming – support and outreach in the community to inspire youth and engage with events and activities

14. Volunteer Program – to provide additional opportunities for retired, injured or interested athletes in the sport, AO has a Volunteer Program to connect those interested in supporting events, races, officiating, and/or committees (Competitions, Technical, Programs and Services, etc.)

15. Awards & Hall of Fame – AO celebrates sport with an annual Gala, Awards and Hall of Fame induction evening

Certification for Coaches

1. Training Courses – held throughout the year and on request, AO will host various Sport Coach, Club Coach and Performance Coach Training courses and Professional Development (PD) courses

2. Certification and Evaluation Courses – to ensure the ‘certification’ status of trained coaches, AO helps to coordinate the required elements (i.e. portfolio submission, in-person evaluation at a practice/ event, etc.) with the Provinces trained personnel

3. Coach Support – High Performance athlete’s coaches are supported through the OHPSI Program (#4 above) with funding and education opportunities to develop alongside their athletes

4. Provincial Team Coaching – Athletics Ontario has opportunities (nominations and/or applications) for Coaches to support Provincial Team Events/ Games

5. Policies – AO has developed Policies and Procedures for Clubs and Coaches to reference when delivering their programs

Certification for Officials

1. Training Courses – collaborating with the Ontario Officials, AO develops workshops and training opportunities (in-person or classroom) to develop the sport and support system

2. Mentorships – AO supports the development of advanced Officials through mentorships and event opportunities

3. Support for Sanctioned Events – *coming 2017 – AO will help to connect Sanctioned events/ organizing clubs/ committees with registered officials via a placement process (online portal) to fulfill the roles/ duties required for their event This is something we need to think about carefully. It will open AO up to a lot of unforeseen things.

4. High Schools – AO works with OFSAA and Ontario School Board’s to collaborate on training of both coaches and officials to ensure safety requirements are met