The story of the University Athletics Club is a great yarn about survival. University is the only one of the foundation clubs that took the field for the West Australian Amateur Athletic Association’s inaugural interclub season in 1928 that is still competing. The West Australian University Amatuer Athletics Club, known as UWAAAC, was formed in March, 1928, by Messrs, W.T.G. Richards and C. N. Cook. However Athletics actually started in 1918 at the University with an inaugural sports day.
In the early days the club's athletes consisted of University Students only, membership consisted of men with the women belonging to the University Athletics club. The club has grown to be one of the biggest clubs in Australia, as we headed into 1969-70 the club numbers were at 67, the club has since grown to over 280 members, with members now as young as 11 through to the ‘veterans’, we won't mention ages.
The first competition saw uneven turf, and the times would not be recognised these days. Starting was by means of a temperamental pistol which was the only piece of equipment the Sports Council possessed. It was mainly used by the Boat Club, which caused a crisis by losing it in 1927. If a gale helped the runners at the sports, good luck to them; it had to be a calamitous start to induce the starter to waste another cartridge; and it was like winning a lottery to draw the inside position in the 220 yards, there being no lanes on the circular track.
We have come a long way from only having up to six competitions a season, with lanes marked using saw dust or rope - in the mornings of a competition by athletes and officials and the poles of pole vault made out of bamboo with a metal stake in the end and no mat’s used for pole vault or high jump, to where we are today.
As the club has progressed into the year 2023 with members now reaching 280 and athletes becoming world champions, the UWA Athletics club is one of the most successful clubs in the world.
For further insight into the history of UWA Athletics Club, please feel free to peruse the following:
Foundation of UWAAC
Foundation President Griff Richards
Early days of the club
Jerry Haire reminisces after 50th Anniversary dinner
Origins of the Fatman
By Lyn & Kevin Barry and Grahame Young
Profiles of Prominent Past UWAAC Athletes
Club Presidents from 1928 to Current, please click here.
1966 onwards: Explore past UWA Athletics Year Books here.
1928 - 2023 Year book , click here.
Life members are those that have demonstrated outstanding commitment, leadership and passion for the club. They have demonstrated more than simply having a presence, they have been actively involved in change for the club, progressing the club and doing all this for the benefit of the members.
Please see below for a full list of UWAAC life members
1931 Leslie Le Soeuf * AGM
1956 Keith Allen * AGM
1965 Fred Humphreys * AGM
1966 Ted Maslen * AGM
1968 Gary Aitken Club dinner
1970 Herbert ( Bert ) Craven * AGM
1976 Lindsay Gray * IV dinner
Len Vlahov * IV dinner
1983 Eric Isaachsen Dinner for 55th
Trevor O’Sullivan Dinner for 55th
1998 Griff Richards * Dinner for 70th
2008 Brian Oliver * Dinner for 80th
2013 Don Young Dinner for 85th
2016 Kylie Wheeler Club awards ( May )
Jim Wieland Club awards ( May )
2021 Tim Lyons 2021 AGM
2021 Olivia Lyons 2021 AGM
2022 Glenn Stewart 2022 AGM
2022 Lyndsay Troode 2022 AGM
2022 Colin O'sulivan 2022 AGM