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Athletics organisations uniting with one vision

03 October 2019

Athletics Australia and Little Athletics Australia are pleased to announce a proposed merger between the two iconic Australian sporting organisations — the OneAthletics Proposal will create a new National Sporting Organisation to be responsible for athletics in Australia.

A successful merger will see athletics transformed into one of the biggest participation sports in the country and will ensure a clear and logical pathway for athletes, coaches and officials throughout their life in sport.

“This is an important and exciting day. Our goal is to see athletics become the largest participation sport in the country and we are excited to have the opportunity to unite with Little Athletics to help make this happen,” said President of Athletics Australia Mark Arbib.

“Our vision is to create a clear pathway that will drive lifelong involvement from Little Athletics to juniors, seniors, and masters. By providing a simpler structure and an improved transition for teenagers going into senior athletics, we will keep athletes in the sport for longer; improving our potential talent pool and helping to unearth the next Catherine Freeman, Sally Pearson, Jared Tallent or Brandon Starc.”

“The proposed merger will allow for better use of organisational resources and improved administration. It will also drive more commercial opportunities, product innovation and reduced duplication,” Arbib said.

“The name ‘Little Athletics’ will be proudly retained, as it has an iconic position in the children’s sporting landscape and will be given fresh impetus with the backing of new clubs and the wider athletics family,” said President of Little Athletics Australia Andrew Pryor. “Little Athletics will focus on tiny tots to 12-year-olds and will deliver athletics into primary schools.”

Pryor believes that OneAthletics will simplify the member pathway and remove the confusion of overlapping products. “The united approach to the sport brings the pieces of the jigsaw together and allows us to develop new pieces with joint expertise. The benefits to our members will be profound,” he said.

Sport Australia is a proud supporter of the OneAthletics proposal and its vision to see more Australians involved in athletics throughout their lives.

“It’s encouraging to see Athletics Australia and Little Athletics Australia proactively working together with a shared vision to grow the sport of athletics. Importantly, it’s a vision that puts members, participants and the future of athletics first,” said Sport Australia CEO Kate Palmer.

“Athletics is seeking to unlock its potential to deliver greater international success and support the Federal Government’s objective to get more Australians moving more often. Sport Australia recognises that every sport is unique and is proud of the support we can provide to help sports modernise their business models.”

Over the next 12 months, the two organisations will enter a process to develop a transition plan to create one national organisation, with one constitution and one board.

The current boards of both organisations will remain in place until October 2020, with a new Governance Committee to be established in November 2019.

All state and territory member associations affiliated with Athletics Australia and Little Athletics Australia will be members of, and supported by the new entity that the OneAthletics project delivers.

A successful merger will see athletics transformed into one of the biggest participation sports in the country.
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