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Frequently Asked Questions
(Updated December 2020)

OneAthletics is the vision of Little Athletics Australia and Athletics Australia to unite into one sporting organisation at the national level  – into “Australian Athletics”. States will be able to remain stand-alone organisations delivering their normal operations and age groups affiliated to the united national body.

Little Athletics Australia and Athletics Australia see significant benefits of uniting under one national entity to transform athletics into the biggest participation sport in the country. This unification will provide a clear and logical pathway for athletes, coaches and officials throughout their life in the sport.     

Little Athletics Australia and Athletics Australia have been working closely with State and Territory member associations and key stakeholders to inform and prepare a joint proposal of the new National Body. This engagement has been critical to refining the vision and how the new organisation will look in the furture. 

If this proposal receives the required level of member association support, a new National Body will be established.

One, united, national sporting organisation for athletics in Australia will have a multitude of benefits to athletes, clubs, coaches and officials including:

  • Growth opportunities at all participation levels
  • A clear athletics pathway
  • Potential to enhance high-performance programs
  • One pathway for developing coaches and officials
  • More commercial opportunities to enhance funding
  • Better use of organisational resources and improved administration

Once established, the OneAthletics program will be delivered along a united pathway that promotes life-long involvement in the sport. During the consultation for OneAthletics, members will have the opportunity to help design the programs for proposed age groupings. 

There is no need to change the way your club or centre delivers athletics. We see this as a strength of the sport. By developing a clearer transition pathway, we believe there will be greater opportunities where the demand is strong for both clubs and centres to build on their existing offerings.

If the proposal is supported, there will be equal representation on the Transition Board from Little Athletics Australia and Athletics Australia. 

The Transition Board will be responsible for the implementation plan and appointing a CEO and other resources.

There is no intention to reduce current staffing from both organisations. In fact, in other organisations where a change of this type has been achieved there has been increased opportunities for staff.

Under the proposal, all state and territory member associations affiliated with Little Athletics Australia and Athletics Australia would become members of Australian Athletics. Current member associations will be consulted to gather insight and input into the formation and principles of the new organisation.

This is an opportunity to work together to create a shared vision and structure for athletics in Australia.                              

If the OneAthletics proposal is successful there is no requirement for state and territory associations to merge. Where associations have been exploring a merger the new national sporting organisation will work with these associations to assist their efforts.

               

No club, centre or state association will be forced to come together under Australian Athletics. This is a merger at the national level, the coming together of Athletics Australia and Coles Little Athletics Australia to form a new body, “Australian Athletics”.

There are complexities around the federated model, however, discussions have taken place with master’s in relation to coming in as an associated member. We see this as the next part of the journey. Hopefully post a successful merger vote, we can continue to explore bringing in master’s as an associated member of the new organisation
Recreational running is a part of the athletics family, and in recent years, Parkrun has been brought in as an associate member of Athletics Australia. We have supported and encouraged our clubs to work with Parkrun and will continue to do so, as there is opportunity here for participants who are just looking to run casually rather than in a structured club format.
Yes, the members of Australian Athletics would be the current state-based Member Associations of AA and LAA
Clubs and centers are at the heart of Australian Athletics. Within each jurisdiction, clubs and center’s will need to work closely with their state member association on state rules and regulations. However, we see the vision of Australian Athletics offering further opportunity for all, throughout the end to end athletics pathway and life in the sport. Ultimately, post a successful merger vote, we see that national product offerings for both juniors and seniors could be delivered by clubs and centers who choose to do so. This could mean Little A’s centers offering a new teenage social product, or a senior club opening to younger participants. We believe Australian Athletics will provide more opportunities for clubs and centers to participate in all aspects of the sport.
We have been inspired by work done and a groundswell at the state and territory level. We have acute awareness this time that we have little choice as a sport. To stay relevant, to compete with other sports, we must join to continue to grow. We are also cognisant of lessons of the past – that a merger cannot be forced or threatened, and that our athletics family must be brought on the journey. This is a merger of equals, joining as partners. This is not a takeover in any way.
One of the benefits of Australian Athletics would be enhanced opportunity to grow the membership and participant base, which would be more attractive to commercial partners. This would elevate the sport and help it promote its activities at both the elite and community levels.
Our team at the national level have commenced an assessment of the opportunity in this space, and what an Australian Athletics school offering could look like under the new organisation. Current assessment shows little overlap as the products are generally offered at different schools, so we expect more opportunity in this space with the added ability to leverage combined resources and knowledge at the national level.
The work being done now is first addressing how the sport engages officials and keeps them involved. Into the near future it will then look at how the sport recruits’ new officials and encourages more participation.
We think that there are many benefits in a merger at the NSO level, even if the states are not also unified. These benefits include things such as a clear athletics pathway, a consistent national framework for coaching and officiating, shared volunteer and resource bases, and the potential to further grow the sport. We acknowledge the leadership of our MAs who have already merged, or who are considering a merger process. However, in states that choose not to merge, we also think the NSO merger will deliver improvements for the athletics community.
We understand that change can be a difficult process. Whilst the proposal of joining at the national level is an idea that is largely supported, we also understand there is emphasis on the detail of what that will practically look like, and what a national merger will mean at the grassroots and for the broader athletics community. We will continue to work closely with the state member associations and the athletics community to refine the proposal for Australian Athletics. We ultimately believe the coming together of our national bodies is the best move for our sport, to ensure a fruitful, sustainable sport for the future for the entire athletics community.

We believe that for the future sustainability of our sport, that unifying is the right thing to do. However, we are realistic, we know change can be difficult, and that the vote for the Australian Athletics entity is ultimately up to the state members.

Given that, if the merger vote is unsuccessful in October/November 2021, the OneAthletics program of work will continue. We will keep going, continuing to refine what Australian Athletics could look like and incorporating feedback towards a stronger proposal, until a successful outcome can be reached.

The two national bodies are already bringing together teams from each organisation to collaborate which will continue into the 2021 year with an enhanced focus

The coaching pathway will be built to eliminate barriers and improve the experience of coaches. This includes opening opportunities for junior coaches / ITC recipients to commence their accreditation journey if they so wish through the accredited pathway.

A merged national sporting organisation will allow opportunity for more investment through commercial partners, resulting in further opportunity for all aspects of the sport, including direct investment into coaching, officiating and schools.