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Home » Forty years of European Masters Athletics – Part 2

Forty years of European Masters Athletics – Part 2

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    EVAA founding member Wilhelm Köster: „Like everything 40 years ago at EVAA, now EMA, began.“


    Wilhelm Köster (© A.H, 2019)

    The first EVAA statutes

    Wilhelm Köster (* 25. November 1934 in Sulingen, [#Wikipedia]) used the time between the founding meeting of the EVAA on 11. September 1978 in Viareggio and an extraordinary General Assembly of the EVAA on 30. 07. 1979 in Hannover to draft a statute for the EVAA which was adopted in Hannover. In supplementary elections to the Presidium were elected:

    • Wilhelm Köster/BRD as technical Manager and responsible EVAA delegate for the execution of future EVAA championships
    • Gijs Knoppert/Ned as secretary.



    Good contacts to the IAAF and the EAA gave Wilhelm Köster’s opinion weight and inspired the development of European Masters athletics.

    Wilhelm Köster reports on the problems and developments in the early years of EVAA:

    “The age groups were divided into 1a + 1b, 2a + 2b, etc. The classification was also common in the Scandinavian countries. The device weights and hurdles as well as distances were very disparate in Europe. In connection with the WAVA event in Hanover, I started a survey of all European countries regarding competition classes and devices. The result was naturally not very pleasing. In Hanover, we opted for the German system of 5-year classes starting with 35. The hurdle heights and distances as well as the weight of the equipment were largely based on the majority of the return results.

    It was then reserved for later years to come to uniform regulations both in the world and in Europe.”

    Computer use at the end of the 70s  

    Wilhelm Köster: „A special feature should still be reported. The company Olivetti made a computer available for the first time in Viareggio for the competition data processing. He was accommodated in a room of about 4x4m size and had an extent of about 3x3m in length and width and about 2, 00m in height. A year later in Hanover everything was still ‘ handmade ‘, except the recording of the marathon runners and the assignment of their times on an urban computer. Thus the finished results lists could be printed out.”