To promote athletics amongst those whom, people think, have passed their prime,
we have joined hands together and Masters Athletics Federation of India (MAFI) came
into being. No doubt the idea was conceived way back by none other then worthy "Flying
Sikh" Milkha Singh, the idea was to mobilize elderly people to take part in out
door activities like athletics to combat aging and live a healthy life. To achieve
this goal All India Veteran Athletic Association was formed in 1978. The first national
meet of this association was conducted in Chandigarh in the following year. It received
lukewarm response and very few came to participate but in the next two years the
things changed upside down. With sparkling results and overwhelming response from
the people across the Asian continent, Milkha Singh joined hands with a Singapore
based Olympian Harichandra and Asian Veteran body came in to existence in 1980.
First Asian Meet was organized in 1981 at Singapore in which ten countries took
part. It was the beginning of a new era in the field of sports particularly in athletics.
We can find sea changes in this format. In the last three decades many things have
changed. It has changed from Veteran to Master and many new athletic events have
been introduced. Today Masters Athletics Federation of India (MAFI) is an affiliated
unit of World Masters body.
Truly speaking, the games and sports for youth are only a race for establishing new
records, but such spectacular performances are short lived and cannot provide permanent
agility and fitness, if not continued. Thus the MAFI is providing platform to continue
and keep them agile and fit with fabulous achievements at any stage of life span.
Today all the athletes, both men and women, above the age of 35 and 30 respectively
are eligible to take part in any of the athletic events during state or national
level competitions. If we go by 2013 National Championship at Jaipur, more than
2500 athletes, both men and women, representing 23 states took part in it. It will
be pertinent to reveal that the participation in the future events shall be flooded
with many more participants.