Six IAAF Areas (IAAF) © Copyright
General News

Area Associations send their best wishes – IAAF Centenary

MonteCarloThe 212 national Member Federations of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) are divided into six Continental Area Associations.

Consudatle, the South American Confederation, the first Area Association, was founded as early as 1918. Then the IAAF created a European Committee to be in charge of the European Championships which were founded in 1934.

At the 1968 Congress, the Constitution was amended to provide for the setting up of other Continental Area Associations within the IAAF similar to Consudatle. A further major change in the Constitution in 1968 was to include in the Council a representative of each of the six Continental Areas, elected by the Members in those Area Groups, ensuring a truly world-wide representation in the Council.

The Area Associations were officially accepted into the IAAF as follows**: the constitution of the European Athletic Association (EAA) was ratified at the 1970 IAAF Congress; the statutes of the Oceania Regional Group were approved at the Munich Congress (1972) and those of the African Amateur Athletic Confederation (AAAC) and the Asian Amateur Athletic Association (AAAA) were approved by the Rome Congress (1974); finally in Barcelona 1989, the North America, Central America and Caribbean Athletic Association was ratified by IAAF Congress.

Click here for the details of the six Area Associations and the 212 national Member Federations

The following messages of greeting have been sent to the IAAF from the six Area Associations to congratulate the world governing body on its 100th birthday...


The Confederation of African Athletics and its 53 national member federations send their warmest greetings and best wishes to the International Association of Athletics Federations on the occasion of its 100th birthday.

The Statutes of the then African Amateur Athletic Confederation (AAAC) were approved by the Rome Congress (1974), at a time when African athletics was emerging as the powerhouse it is today.

African athletics has grown with the IAAF and has provided many of the legends of our sport including Bikila and Keino, two African Olympic greats who have recently been announced as members of the IAAF Hall of Fame, and who were inspirational pioneers in the development of African success in the last 40 years.

Many more great African champions have followed with the development of women’s athletics in the last few decades now in full flow led by such giants as Mutola, Cheriuyot, Dibaba to name just a few.

Athletics has grown and prospered in the last 100 years and the CAA wishes the IAAF and the sport of athletics as a whole the very best for what we all hope will be the beginning of another exceptionally exciting century for the Olympics’ number one sport.


On the 17 July the athletics world will celebrate the 100th birthday of the International Association of Athletics Federations. The Asian Athletics Association is delighted to send its congratulations on such a marvellous milestone for the sport’s world governing body and for Athletics as a whole.

While the Asian Amateur Athletic Association, as it was originally named, which was founded in 1973, only officially became accepted as an Area of the IAAF in 1974, relatively late in the IAAF’s first 100 years, Asian athletes have made an impressive impact throughout the life of the IAAF.

The world beaters of the last decades such as Liu Xiang, Koji Murofushi, Maryam Jamal, Mizuki Noguchi…have followed in a fine Asian tradition of World and Olympic success which dates back to the 1920s and 30s with the great Olympic triple jumpers and marathon runners that were at the vanguard of Asia’s current successful generation.

Asia is now the acknowledged economic and social powerhouse of the world and as such while we happily look back to the achievements of the past 100 years of the IAAF, we look forward to the association’s next 100 years too, in the confident expectation that Asia’s wider growth will in turn lead to the further expansion of Athletics popularity in our Area.

Happy Birthday IAAF!


We say that Athletics is everywhere. We run, jump and throw at all times in our lives – at all ages and social levels. This is the sport that’s the base for every sport, and we found ourselves celebrating the first 100 years of the Association that’s the base of everything in Athletics: the IAAF.

In South America we proudly say that we provided the IAAF with its first continental championships, our "Sudamericano" or "Sul-Americano", which took place for the first time in 1919. Since then, our humble tracks, fields and roads projected to the world names of dreamers, role models and heroes such as Brunetto, Plaza, Zabala, La Beach, Simonetto, Cabrera, José Telles, Adhemar, Devonish, Gorno, Ahrens, Prudêncio, João Carlos de Oliveira, Joaquim Cruz, Róbson, Barbosa, Restrepo, Jefferson Pérez, Edson Luciano, Arnaldo, André, Vicente Lenilson, Claudinei, Vanderlei, Saladino, Maggi or Murer. As many others remain unknown, all of them are all part of the large family of South American Athletics, and represent the future of Athletics in our bright and rich continent.

In 2012 we are part of something unique: the Centenary. And from all of us in South America and Consudatle, we want to congratulate the IAAF on its first 100 years of life, knowing that the next 100 will be even brighter than the first chapter of this wonderful story.


The centenary celebration of the IAAF is a great milestone in the history of sports and the athletics movement. We take this opportunity to congratulate the IAAF and each of the Area Associations for guiding the sport through this glorious journey during which athletics has truly established itself as the most global of sports.

The continent of Europe has been the traditional home of athletics and in many ways has helped shape the evolution of the sport and the IAAF. Ever since the IAAF was founded in Sweden on 17 July 1912 the sport has gone on from strength to strength and its appeal and popularity has transcended all boundaries.

As an Area Association under the IAAF our roots are entwined together and we represent a perfect example of a symbiotic relationship. We express our gratitude to all those great luminaries whose tireless service has been instrumental in making our sport the most influential in the Olympic programme and one of the most global and widely practised in the world.

We congratulate the IAAF, all the six Area Associations, National Federations, Governments and State Institutions, Clubs, Athletes, Coaches, Officials, Sponsors, Partners, fans and countless other significant contributors without whom our sport would not be in its present health state. We look forward to working closely with the IAAF and everyone else in the future in order to further improve the standing of our sport of athletics in the coming years.


On this special day we send the NACAC’s Area’s congratulations to the IAAF on its Centenary.

It is significant to record that as the World prepares for the Olympic Games in London this summer, two NACAC countries, Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago will be returning to the city that launched both countries participation in the Summer Olympic Games.

It is even more important that such a reunion would coincide with the one hundredth year of the establishment of the International Amateur Athletics Association, now the International Association of Athletics Federations, as the governing body for Track and Field Athletics in the World.

The NACAC area which comprises thirty-one (31) countries in North America, Central America and the Caribbean has three of the top ten athletic programmes within the IAAF, Cuba, Jamaica and the United States of America. The athletes from the NACAC region, with long established links to London will be making every effort to perform at their very best in this special year in the life of the IAAF, compliments of the dedicated work of our coaches.

It is the hope of the leadership of NACAC that the expected good performances of our athletes will do much to enhance the Games in London making it the major contribution of NACAC to the IAAF in 2012.


With an amazing history the IAAF can be justly proud of its achievements since its humble beginning with 17 signatories in 1912 to have grown to include 212 Member Federations worldwide becoming a truly global family with participation numbering in the millions and supported by a massive network of coaches, officials, administrators and volunteers. With advances in media technology through those years the sport has achieved viewers and followers in the billions.

This IAAF Centenary Year is an opportunity to reflect upon 100 years of athletics – its development and reach to every corner of the planet – forging the skills that form the foundation of every other sport and that year upon year has seen men, women and children strive to perform at their best in schools, clubs and at regional, national and international levels.

During this Centenary, Oceania celebrates its legends... Jackson, Williams, Landy, Cuthbert, Strickland, Halberg, Elliot, Snell, Clarke, Walker, Mottram, Hooker, Saxby, Freeman, Adams, Pearson...... a selection of the many athletes that have mixed it with the Worlds’ best and those who continue to shape the sport and inspire our youth to rise to take up the baton as the next generation of athletes that will make their mark in the Region and on the World stage in 2012 and beyond.

On behalf of the 20 IAAF Member Federations of the Oceania Area, the Oceania Athletics Association congratulates the IAAF on its outstanding past and the achievement of its Centenary.


IAAF Centenary celebrations will continue throughout the year. The World Athletics Gala on 24 November will be the centre piece of a weekend of celebrations in Barcelona, Spain which will be attended by dozens of legendary champions from athletics history.

An IAAF Centenary Historic Exhibition displaying an unrivalled collection of historic athletics memorabilia will also take place in the Catalan capital. Hosted by the Joan Antoni Samaranch Olympic and Sports Museum, it will be open to the public for six weeks in the autumn (13 October to 25 November).

A Commemorative Book and a TV series are also being produced, and along with celebrations such as at the traditional IAAF Dinner, which takes place on the eve of the athletics competitions at the London Olympics, will further commemorate the IAAF’s special anniversary.


**Note – the actual foundation of each Area Association took place earlier than the dates upon which they were offically accepted as part of the IAAF family.