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 life-long 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-yearolds 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.
Photos and interview with President of Athletics Australia Mark Arbib and President of Little Athletics Australia Andrew Pryor available on request.
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The vision of OneAthletics is to transform athletics into the biggest participation sport in the country, with a clear and logical pathway for athletes, coaches and officials throughout their life in the sport. OneAthletics is the proposal being put forward by the Boards of Little Athletics Australia and Athletics Australia to achieve this vision through a merger of the organisations. OneAthletics is the working title of a united sport, not the official name of the future merged organisation, which will be decided by a grassroots consultative and research process.
Athletics Australia is the national governing body for the sport of athletics in Australia, and is recognised as such by the IAAF, Australian Olympic Committee, Australian Paralympic Committee, Australian Commonwealth Games Association and the Australian Sports Commission. Together with its State and Territory-based Member Associations, it is charged with ensuring the encouragement and promotion of athletics in Australia and adequate representation of Australia in athletics at the Olympic Games, the Commonwealth Games, the Paralympic Games and other international meetings.
Little Athletics is a uniquely Australian modified athletics program for children from 5 to 16 years. Little Athletics promotes that it is important to ‘Be your Best’ ®. The emphasis is on fun, participation, performance, technique and getting involved with your family in physical and healthy activity. The motto of Little Athletics is ‘Family, Fun and Fitness’. Across Australia, approximately 100,000 girls and boys enjoy the activities of Little Athletics. Little Athletics is the ‘Foundation for all Sports’.