The Athletics Federation of India, the apex body for track and field sport in the country, is seen as a progressive sports organisation that makes the athlete the centre of its universe. Working with several stakeholders, including Government, public sector undertaking and India Inc, it ensures that athletics remains the cynosure.
From encouraging youngsters to assisting elite athletes to prepare for grueling international events by providing the right mix of training and competition, AFI ensures that India is one of the most competitive athletics nations in the continent – as the 282 medals in the Asian Athletics Championships show.
Originally called the Amateur Athletic Federation of India (AAFI), it was formed in 1946 with much support from the then Maharaja of Patiala, Yadvindra Singh. Prof. Guru Dutt Sondhi served as its first President. It was registered under the Societies Registration Act of 1860 in September 1962. It now has 45 members, including States, Union Territories and Sports Boards.
In the wake of the successful conduct of the IX Asian Games in New Delhi, AAFI (as it was still known) saw the late 80s as a big landmark in the development of athletics in India. The changes in AAFI infused fresh ideas and gave track and field sport in the country an impetus. It brought many prestigious events and leading athletes to India to raise the profile of the sport.
From the year 2003, it has been conducting the National Inter-District Junior Athletics Meet (NID-JAM) to create an ecosystem that would provide a magnificent platform for talent identified and nurtured athletes from every nook and corner of the country. Till date, more than 50,000 district champions have showcased their talent on NID-JAM in the 14 years.
Mr. Adille J Sumariwala, who represented India in the 1980 Olympic Games, and Mr CK Valson are its President and Hon. Secretary respectively. With its innovative ideas and commitment to the sport’s stakeholders, AFI now envisions track and field emerging as one of the biggest sports in the country.