The history of Athletics Kenya (AK) – and the start of the country’s journey to becoming a powerhouse – began in 1951 with the formation of the Kenya Amateur Athletics Association (KAAA).
The birth of Kenyan athletics, with the formation of KAAA, is credited to Sir Archie Evans and Derek Erskine who subsequently became the pioneer secretary and chair of the association respectively.
Most importantly, at the time of its formation, was the need for Kenya to compete in international competitions, including the Commonwealth Games.
A sports officer when he established KAAA, Evans visited the Amateur Athletics Association offices in England and was thus inspired to form a similar association in the country.
Assisted by Erskine, who was then a member of the Kenyan Legislative Council, Evans was able to enlist the Kenyan team for various international assignments including the 1954 and 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Vancouver and Cardiff respectively as well as the 1956 and 1960 Olympic Games in Melbourne and Rome respectively.
Evans donated a piece of land that would later give birth to Nyayo Stadium as well as the federation’s present headquarters (Riadha House).
The duo served at the helm of KAAA until 1964 when Musembi Mbathi took over the reins of the federation.
In 2002, KAAA was renamed Athletics Kenya in line with the name change for the International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) to World Athletics
Among the competitions organised by AK include series of track and cross-country meetings and number of road races.
Kenya equally hosts three annual marathon events with Nairobi Marathon being the youngest.
The association is also responsible for holding the national championships and selection trials to Olympic and World Championship competitions.
Also part of AK’s roster is the mountain running series, which aims to popularize mountain running in the country by identifying and nurturing talents that can be sent to represent the country at international mountain running events.
For its efforts, AK has been awarded the Kenyan Sports Federation of the Year Award on many occasions including in 2006, 2009 and 2010.
Derek Erskine (1950–1964)
Musembi Mbathi (1964–1968)
Bartonjo Rotich (1968–1972)
Charles Mukora (1972–1974)
Sam Ongeri (1974–1984)
Paul Boit (1984–1992)
Isaiah Kiplagat (1992-2015)
Jackson Tuwei (current).