Submitted by admin on April 22, 2009 - 21:07
ATHLETICS–TRACK AND FIELD
Although running, jumping, and throwing missiles have been among man's most natural–and necessary–activities since prehistoric times, the modern sport of track and field athletics is surprisingly young, a fact which has enabled New Zealand to be one of the pioneering countries in this sphere. The world's first properly organised athletic meeting was held in England in 1849, and the first national championships, again in England, were in 1866. New Zealand was not far behind, our first championships being held in 1888. A year earlier had been founded the New Zealand Amateur Athletic Association which today shares with the Czechoslovak Association the honour of being the oldest national body in over 100 countries affiliated to the International Amateur Athletic Federation. The oldest club extant in New Zealand is the Wellington A.A.C., which dates from 1875, 25 years after the foundation of the first club in the world, Exeter College A.C., Oxford University. In 1935 the president of that club was our Olympic champion and Rhodes Scholar, J. E. Lovelock, who thus forged another link in the chain of New Zealand's association with the earliest days of modern athletics.