Championship History

First World War Veteran and Legion Dominion Chairman, Jack Moore introduced the Foster Fathers’ Program in Winnipeg coming to the aide of 60 fatherless boys with mentorship and guidance in all aspects of community life, including competitive sports.

Earl TrackThe Foster Fathers’ Program expanded across the nation and became known as the Legion’s Children’s Program with the full endorsement, “They Served Till Death!  Why Not We?”

Ontario Legion Branch #277 President Bob Saunders (Chairman Ontario Hydro) and George Duthie, Sports Manager Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) sponsored the former Canadian Olympic Training Plan as well as invitational track meets.

Success of these initiatives solidified national Legion support and The Royal Canadian Legion officially entered the national track & field scene as financier of the Canadian Olympic Training Plan.  This included clinics in Toronto with teams of participating athletes and coaches from each Province.

Federal Government supported the Legion in creating the first Canadian National Clinic for track & field coaches in Guelph. World renowned Geoffrey Dyson, John Disley, John Savidge, Dennis Cullum and Jacques Bergougnous directed the clinics.  Four summer and three winter training camps were added with 475 participating youth athletes. Over the next five years the Legion’s national clinic trained 1,300 coaches plus 2,500 provincial and regional coaches.
Legion created and published Canadian technical periodicals on track & field, “Coaching Review” and “Track and Field Annual”.  
Federal Government curtails grant funding.

The Legion continued to sponsor track & field programs at the provincial level. Legion funding was expanded to pilot a Canada-wide track & field meet in Waterloo and with its success a second national meet was held in Edmonton.

The Legion’s commitment to youth competitive sports and coaches’ track & field training continued with millions of dollars invested for National Track & Field Camps. Hosting of the Camps was determined through a bidding process by Legion Branches across the nation.
National Track & Field Camps
1977 Oromocto, NB
1978 Peace Garden, MB
1979 St. John’s, NF
1980 Saskatoon, SK
1981 Hamilton, ON
1982 Oromocto, NB
1983 Ottawa, ON
1984 Halifax, NS
1985 Saskatoon, SK
1986 Sudbury, ON
1987 Calgary, AB
1988 Quebec, QC
1989 Victoria, BC
1990 St. John’s, NF
1991 Toronto, ON
1992 Calgary, AB
1993 Saskatoon, SK
1994 Ottawa, ON
1995 Winnipeg, MB
1996 Sherbrooke, QC
1997 St. John’s, NF
1998 Prince George, BC
1999 Sudbury, ON
2000 Calgary, AB
2001 Sherbrooke, QC
2002 Sherbrooke, QC
2003 Kitchener/Waterloo, ON
2004 Sudbury, ON
2005 Edmonton, AB
2006 Burnaby, BC
2007 Oromocto, NB
2008 Sherbrooke, QC
2009 Sherbrooke, QC
2010 Ottawa, ON
2012 Charlottetown, PE
2013 Langley, BC
2014 Langley, BC

The Legion increased funding for the National Track & Field Camps to include coaching certification courses.  Highly coaches and clinicians from the Canadian Track & Field Association and the Coaching Association of Canada conducted the courses and took part in the clinics for the young athletes.

One third of Canada’s Olympic Team in the Los Angeles Summer Games and all Canadian medal winners had their start at the Legion’s National Track & Field Camps.

Canada’s Young Olympians here!

The official name, Legion National Track & Field Championships, is sanctioned.  The Championships include two days of training clinics and two days of national competition for youth athletes.

The official name is changed again to, Legion National Youth Track & Field Championships with accompanying event branding logo.

The Championships are opened to athletes not affiliated with the Legion program which increases participation to over 1,000 youth athletes.

The Legion receives the 2012 True Sport Foundation Corporate Excellence Award in recognition of the outstanding commitment to the training, competition and promotion of Canada’s national team track & field sport.

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