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 that 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.

Mission Statement

Play a leadership role in fostering and growing participation, development, equity, and excellence in Athletics in Ontario.

Click here to view our Strategic Priorities for 2022-2027: 2022-27 Strategic Plan


Athletics. For You. For All. For LIFE.


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-centered recreational and competitive athletics programs in Ontario through member clubs and athletics communities.

AO Values

These values are the threads of the fabric that make up the vibrant Athletics community. AO is committed to upholding these values and fostering them in the sport of Athletics in Ontario and beyond.

INCLUSIVITY: Leave no one out AO welcomes people of all different abilities, ages, economic and social situations and of all racial, ethnic, cultural, gender, and sexual identities.

SAFETY: All participants must be and feel safe AO believes that all participants in Athletics have the right to participate in a physically and personally safe environment where support and respect are the governing principles – and that all participants must have an effective way to raise safety concerns.

PERSONAL SATISFACTION: Positive experiences, achievement, and health AO believes that participation in Athletics should be a positive experience involving fun, challenge, and achievement – and is an important lifetime pursuit leading to better physical, mental, and emotional health and well-being.

EXCELLENCE: Always strive for excellence AO pursues excellence in all it does, from the performance of athletes, coaches, officials, volunteers, and its member clubs, to care for the environment, to its own governance and stewardship of its resources and people.

INTEGRITY: We do as we say AO believes that honesty and ethical behaviour are the cornerstones of proper and successful participation in Athletics.

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