Minister for Sport Mark Arbib today welcomed the next step in the historic joint venture between Little Athletics Australia and Athletics Australia with the appointment of a new National Participation Officer for athletics.
Earlier this year Little Athletics Australia and Athletics Australia signed a joint venture with the support of the Australian Government to ensure greater cooperation between the two organisations in developing strategies for athletics.
Senator Arbib said the appointment of a National Participation Officer was an important step in ensuring that kids participating in athletics have a clear pathway from the grassroots to the elite level.
“This year we’ve seen the amazing performances of our Olympic and Paralympic athletics stars like Sally Pearson and Evan O’Hanlon,” Senator Arbib said.
“These performances are a source of inspiration for the next generation of athletes and this new partnership will help to discover them and make sure they aren’t lost to the sport.
“This partnership is the result of the hard work of Little Athletics Australia, Athletics Australia and the Australian Sports Commission and is a fantastic result for athletics in Australia.”
Senator Arbib said the new partnership would not have been possible without the leadership shown by the presidents of Little Athletics Australia, Ross Burridge, and Athletics Australia, Rob Fildes OAM.
“Ross Burridge and Rob Fildes have really led the push for a joint venture and should be congratulated on taking this important step forward,” Senator Arbib said.
“The new National Participation Officer will look at the ways that junior athletes can better make the transition to senior track and field.”
The Australian Government has provided $400,000 towards the new joint venture. In 2011-12 the Government provided athletics with more than $7.1 million to both support our elite athletes and ensure more kids had the chance to take part.