2023: 100 years of Women’s Athletics

2023: 100 years of Women’s Athletics

The end of the 2023 outdoor season marks a special centenary in women’s athletics. The Women’s Amateur Athletics Association, founded in late 1922, held the first WAAA Championship in late summer 1923, paving the way for organised women’s athletics in England.

That first championship, held at the at the OXO sportsground in London, consisted of 10 individual events plus a 660 yard relay. Such was its success that it went on to become an annual event, growing in scale and stature, becoming the major national championship at which selections for international teams were made.

Not everyone was happy about women taking part in athletics though, with medical professionals of the day deeming it unsafe and un-womanly.

WAAA medal

Find out more about those early pioneers of women’s athletics, and the legacy they have left for us today in The Athletics Museum’s online exhibition WAAA: 100 years

Find out about the individual events at the first WAAA Championship; the winners, the history of the event, and the trophies using the links below.

Events at the 1923 Women’s AAA Championship