AW editor explains the shift from Athletics Weekly to ‘AW’ this month

Most readers call this magazine ‘AW’. It is an affectionate little acronym that has been used for decades and for some reason I particularly like it when some people go as far as to refer to it as ‘The AW’.

So it seems to make sense for us to scrap the slightly long-winded ‘Athletics Weekly’ and instead, from June 20, start formally using the name that everyone has used for years anyway.

Acronyms and initialisms are hardly uncommon. My brother, for example, works at GQ – a magazine formerly known as Gentleman’s Quarterly.

Athletics is especially full of such brevities. From PB (or PR if you’re American) to DNS, DNF and DQ, to SP, JT and TJ, to WR and the IAAF, the list is endless. Even the shoe company, ASICS, stands for the Latin anima sana in corpore sano (a sound mind in a sound body).

The first time ‘KJT’ graced our cover, she was known as Katarina Thompson. Similarly, Mark Lewis-Francis became known as ‘MLF’ during his career. Harry Aikines-Aryeetey is usually just called Harry ‘AA’.

Not many readers realise this magazine started off as a monthly publication in 1945 called ‘Athletics’. Yet such was the appetite for athletics info, it turned weekly in 1950 and soon after, on September 30 that year, the ‘AW’ nickname was born when John Parlett, the European and Empire Games 800m champion, featured in the inaugural ‘AW Questionnaire’ – an interview column that ran for many years.

Today AW is far more than a weekly magazine. Through our website, social media channels and print magazine, we are a 24/7 source of news, results, reports, features, opinion, statistics, photos and videos.

Some wonder how we survive in the internet era. The answer is we have become part of the internet era. From our busy and trusted Twitter feed and website through to growing Instagram and YouTube channels, ‘AW’ is the No.1 go-to place if you want a quick athletics fix online.

Then, if your appetite isn’t sated and you still want more, the print magazine (or digital equivalent, which was launched 12 years ago) is the complete package with comprehensive, independent and unrivalled coverage of the No.1 Olympic sport.

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