World Athletics Day: Know History and Significance

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Jan 27, 2022, 8:23

Athletes are people who train themselves in sports, exercises, or games. They are known for their strength, stamina, and agility. Athletes compete in several sporting events and prove their metal by bagging medals for their country and themselves. 

Every year in May, World Athletics Day is observed. The IAAF (International Amateur Athletic Federation) determines the date, which is subject to change. However, the month in which World Athletics Day is observed remains the same. It was held on May 5, 2021, and on May 7, 2019. The event is part of the social responsibility project, "Athletic for a Better World." The day is observed to promote various sporting activities.

History and Significance of World Athletics Day

The International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) established World Athletics Day. On July 17, 1912, the federation was established in Stockholm, Sweden. Several changes were observed in the federation in the following years due to changing socio-economic and political conditions.

In 2001, the federation's name was changed to International Association of Athletics Federations, and in 2019, it was changed to World Athletics. The federation is the governing body in charge of organizing various competitions, compiling world record lists, and standardizing the equipment used in various sports. World Athletics' headquarters are in Monaco.

The World Athletics Federation has been very proactive in raising sports awareness. They have reached out to the general public by commemorating World Athletics Day. Several competitions are held at the local and global levels on this day. 

Some Important Objectives of Celebrating World Athletics Day Include

  • World Athletics Day encourages people to take up sports and participate in different sports and athletic activities.
  • It also aims to enhance public awareness about sporting activities and the health benefits associated with them. 
  • Enhance the importance of physical fitness and popularize sports in the youth of the world. 

Athletic Events Conducted on World Athletics Day

Several sports events are organized on this day, including running, walking, cricket, track and field, race walking, etc. 

The performers in the inter-school competitions organized at local and country levels are further escalated for bigger events like Commonwealth Games, Asian Games, and Olympic Games. 

Athletics in India

In India, the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) is the prime body for organizing and managing athletics in India. The federation is affiliated with the Indian Olympic Association and IAAF. It conducts several national and international sports events and promotes sports in India.

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FAQs about World Athletics Day

  • When is World Athletics Day Celebrated?

World Athletics Day is celebrated in May on the date decided by the IAAF. In 2021, it was celebrated on May 5. However, the month remains the same every year.

  • Who introduced World Athletics Day?

World Athletics Day was introduced by the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF), now known as World Athletics. 

  • Where is the headquarters of World Athletics?

The headquarters of World Athletics is in Monaco.