SAMA is an association of geographically located provinces covering the whole of South Africa. Our aim is to encourage, organize and manage athletics in 5-year age groups for Masters Athletes – men and women aged 35 years and over. Whatever your current level of fitness or age, there is a place for you in the true South African spirit. Whether you would like to try the long jump, throwing events like the javelin or discus, or run any distance from the 60m indoor right up to the marathon, cross country, race walking or relays, you will be competing against athletes in your own age category and older, right across the whole spectrum of the sport.
SAMA is the testament to the vision, passion and determination of many athletes whom continue athletics throughout their lives and demonstrates that age is no barrier in the quest of excellence, good sportsmanship and lasting friendships. It is the tale of ordinary athletes and administrators achieving the extraordinary, using their skills and commitment for the benefit of their fellow athletes. For most of us, who are not world champions or record holders, these achievements inspire us to achieve our own goals, maintain our health and fitness levels and break down the barriers to personal satisfaction as we move into each new age group.
In the years before 1970 it was usual practice for top class sports people to retire soon after the age of 30, as reaction times become slower. However, there were a few exceptions to the rule by some determined and determined men and women. Older athletes had been continuing to compete in open athletics over the years with some notable successes, but it was not until 1972 that positive moves began towards what was to become the very large master athletic movement we know today.
The international governing body of veteran athletics was the World Association of Veteran Athletes (WAVA) – now named World Masters Athletics (WMA). Any country, subject to meeting established criteria, may become affiliated to WMA. Administration of WMA is the responsibility of a Council consisting of its President, Vice Presidents, Secretary, Treasurer, Delegates from regions, and two other appointees: a Women’s Representative and an IAAF Representative. The Council is elected at a General Assembly of Affiliates, held every two years in conjunction with the WMA Stadia Championships. WMA today is a strong organization with considerable and increasing responsibilities.. There are also six regional bodies – North America, South America, Asia, Europe, Africa, and Oceania.
Ansie Hennop – President