What is a Master Athlete?
Anyone aged 35 or over that competes in any Track & Field discipline, Marathons, Cross-Country and Race Walking. Up until fairly recently, Masters Athletics in the UK was called Veterans Athletics, so you may see many clubs that still use this in their names.
How do I start competing?
a) If you are new to jumping, throwing and running, and do not belong to a UK Athletics club:
You can join any Masters Club. This will cost you the Club Fee plus the UK Athletics registration fee. You will have two membership numbers – your UKA registration number, and your Masters Club number. You may need both of these numbers when entering events. Masters vary from region to region, and some are more proactive than others, and even though the structure of Masters in the UK is broken up into regions, you do not have to join a club near you.
The most progressive club in the UK right now is Vets Athletic Club, which seems to have taken the initiative in providing events that are free to members. Important to note that VAC is the oldest Masters Athletic Club in the world!
b) If you already belong to a UKA Club:
You can additionally join a Masters club that suits your needs. This will cost a lesser fee as you are already affiliated to the UKA. This additional membership does not affect your 1st/2nd claim membership of UKA clubs.
Whether you join via a) or b) your membership to your chosen area club will affiliate you to the British Masters Athletic Federation. You’ll need to be affiliated with the BMAF to compete in National and International events.
If you already belong to a UKA club or are resident overseas, you can also compete as an open competitor, which means you do not belong to one of the Masters clubs, but you will pay a supplement to enter each competition. Some competitions are restricted to BMAF area club members.
Go to the link here for the list of area clubs and chose the one in your part of the country. Online facilities for membership applications/renewals and entries to most BMAF competitions are provided by BMAF OpenTrack which is accessed via this link. More detailed instructions for its usage are available in the BMAF OpenTrack User Guide.
Note that some clubs do not yet provide an online membership payment function.
A current UKA registration is now mandatory for BMAF affiliated members and GB-resident open members in order to compete in any BMAF championships. You can find more information here. UKA registration expires each year and payment of the annual fee is required in order to retain affiliation. You can check your EA registration here.
Competing at International Level
By becoming a member of a Masters Club, you are also affiliated to the European Masters Athletics (EMA) and the World Masters Athletics (WMA) associations. For details of these organisations go to these links: EMA and WMA
The European & World Masters have Indoor & Outdoor Track & Field Championships on alternate years (as well as the EMA having bi-annual Road Race, Race Walking and Cross Country events). Please check the link here for news of these events.
There is no selection needed, nor, in expenses available competing for GBR via the BMAF. The only selection done at EMA and WMA events is for the relay teams from the entry available. GBR Masters have to buy their own kit, it is not provided.
You can represent Great Britain & Northern Ireland (GBR) in international masters athletics competitions once your citizenship or permanent residency here has been verified.