Athletics Canada

Athletics Canada or AC (French: Athlétisme Canada) is the national governing body of athletics in Canada, which includes track and field, cross-country running, road running, and race walking.[2]

Athletics Canada / Athletisme Canada
JurisdictionAthletics in Canada
HeadquartersOttawa, Ontario
ChairmanGordon Orlikow
CEORob Guy[1]
SponsorSport Canada
Official website

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 the annual Outdoor Track and Field Championships and the Indoor Track and Field Championships.

Athletics Canada is a member of WA, IOC, IPC, EAA, NACAC, JDFL, CP-ISRA, CGF, ISBA, FISU and WADA.[3]

Based in Ottawa, Ontario, Athletics Canada is a non-profit organization. The organization is led by an elected board of directors, with a head chairman, currently Bill MacMackin of Saint John, New Brunswick.[4]


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 (I.A.A.F.). Only the association of Great Britain (1880) has been in existence for a longer period of time. New Zealand followed in 1887 and the U.S.A. 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 (C.T.F.A.). However, it operated under the umbrella of the A.A.U. of C. (Amateur Athletic Union of Canada). In 1968, the IAAF (now WA) officially recognized the C.T.F.A as an autonomous group and not part of the A.A.U. of C. The A.A.U. 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 C.T.F.A., 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.[5]

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[6] and operator of a now-defunct track club, Speed River.[7] 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.[8]

The University of Guelph fired Scott-Thomas as its track and field head coach in December 2019.[9]

Athletics Canada issued a statement regarding the story on the day it was published.[10]

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.[11]

Athletics Canada Championships


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.[12]

Provincial governing bodies

Currently there is a branch for all provinces and territories in Canada except for Nunavut.[13]

ProvinceFederationWebsite Link
 British ColumbiaBritish Columbia Athletics Association
 AlbertaAthletics Alberta
 SaskatchewanSaskatchewan Athletics Association
 ManitobaAthletics Manitoba
 OntarioAthletics Ontario
 QuebecQuebec Athletics Federation (Fédération Québécoise d'Athlétisme)
 New BrunswickAthletics New Brunswick
 Nova ScotiaAthletics Nova Scotia
 Prince Edward IslandPrince Edward Island Athletics Association
 Newfoundland and LabradorNewfoundland and Labrador Athletics Association
 YukonAthletics Yukon
 Northwest TerritoriesSport North Federation

Pug suppliers

Canada's kits are currently supplied by Nike.

See also


  1. Athletics Canada Staff Archived 2013-12-03 at the Wayback Machine
  2. Mission and Values Archived September 30, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  3. International Organizations Archived September 30, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  4. "Board of Directors | Athletics Canada". Athletics Canada. Retrieved 2017-10-30.
  5. Athletics Canada History Archived May 23, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  6. Carty, Matt. "University of Guelph alleges fired track coach Dave Scott-Thomas 'lied repeatedly'". Global News. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
  7. Running, Canadian. "Megan Brown shares her story about what happened at Guelph". Canadian Running Magazine. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Canada, Athletics. "Athletics Canada statement regarding Dave Scott-Thomas Globe and Mail article". Athletics Canada - Website. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
  11. Athlete Council, Athletics Canada. "Athletics Canada Athlete Council - Statement". Twitter. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
  12. Canadian Revenue Agency
  13. Provincial Athletics Associations Archived September 30, 2012, at the Wayback Machine