Women’s Amateur Athletic Association: 100 Years

2022 marks 100 years since the creation of the Women’s Amateur Athletic Association, the WAAA.

WAAA: 100 Years is a digital exhibition co-curated by England Athletics and members of the WAAA to explore and celebrate the history and legacy of the Women’s Amateur Athletic Association.

From the pioneering athletes of the 1920s who rejected the prevailing beliefs that athletics would make women unfeminine or prevent them from being able to bear children, through the heyday of the mid-century with hundreds of honorary members ensuring that women’s athletics was alive and flourishing, to the eventual wrapping up of the WAAA in 1991 when the Amateur Athletic Association of England was formed, combining the WAAA with the equivalent men’s Association.

Embroidered WAAA blazer badge.
Private collection

This is the story of the women who strove to be allowed to compete, and to give others the opportunity to compete at the highest levels, who challenged the sport’s authorities and who paved the way for today’s athletes.

How to navigate through the exhibition

To view this exhibition, click the link at the bottom of each page to move on to the next section of the main exhibition.

There are spotlights on particular people who are key to the story, their names are highlighted in the text.
To view, click the highlighted name. Use the back arrow to return to the main exhibition.

Before the WAAA >>