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Athletics Australia named as World Athletics Member Federation of the Year, amid call for corporate Australia to join the team

Published Fri 08 Dec 2023

The growth and success of Australian athletics has been recognised globally, with World Athletics today announcing Athletics Australia as the recipient of its prestigious ‘Member Federation of the Year Award’.

The esteemed honour marks a monumental achievement, acknowledging Athletics Australia’s work in fostering excellence within the global athletics community, from amongst the 214 eligible Member Federations.

In a year that has signified the beginning of a new golden era for the sport, Athletics Australia President Jane Flemming reflected on the year with immense pride, whilst putting out the call to corporate Australia to join the athletics party.

“We are honoured to receive this accolade from World Athletics. This recognition is a testament to the cohesive efforts of our athletes, coaches, officials, volunteers, stakeholders and our staff who contribute to the success and growth of athletics in our nation,” Flemming said.

“We are committed to boosting our sport, nurturing talent and fostering a vibrant athletics community for generations to come to really shift the dial with regard to the health, fitness and wellness of our nation, and the door is open to those who want to contribute to this movement.”

Athletics Australia started 2023 by bringing international cross-country running to regional New South Wales, with World Athletics Cross Country Championships in Bathurst hosted in conjunction with Athletics NSW. It was there on the rugged terrains of Mount Panorama that the Australian Mixed 4x2km Relay Team grabbed onto bronze on home soil.

Just days later, Oceania’s first World Athletics Continental Tour Gold Level meet was held with the inaugural edition of the Maurie Plant Meet – Melbourne, which saw Lakeside Stadium filled with over 6000 cheering fans and a global television audience tuned in to watch as the world’s best athletes took centre stage.

The success did not stop on domestic shores, with Australia finishing the World Athletics Championships in Budapest with a record medal-haul of six, including one gold by Nina Kennedy, while at the World Para Athletics Championships, James Turner and Maria Strong were crowned world champions in the first stand alone global para athletics championships in four years.

In the growth and development space, much work was done in conjunction with World Athletics for the impending launch of a new product aimed at getting more juniors involved in the sport than ever before, while the Sydney Marathon enters its final year of candidacy to become one of the Abbott World Marathon Majors.

“We saw so many highs for the sport this year, and yet there is so much more to come with 2023 our launching pad as we look down the runway towards the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games,” Flemming said.

“The opportunity of a home Games gives us a chance to work in unison towards one shared vision, and that is to influence the Australian community and inspire the athlete inside of everyone.

“Athletics is a truly global sport, and one that 214 countries are involved at the peak level. We are the biggest participation sport in the world, diverse and inclusive with no barriers to participation and we lead the way with regard to gender equality.

“On the eve of another Olympic and Paralympic Games year, the time is now to get involved in athletics.  Whether it’s following the stories and journeys of our athletes aiming for Paris, getting involved at a nearby club or registering for a fun run, there is something for everyone in this sport.

“As we grow, we also urge corporate Australia to get behind athletics. There is so much that athletics has to offer but the support of the nation is instrumental in preparing our athletes to take on the world, and inspiring all Australians to walk, run, jump, throw or roll their way to a healthier lifestyle Together we can propel our athletes from the grassroots levels through to the Olympics and Paralympics to even greater success and inspire generations to come.”

By Sascha Ryner, Athletics Australia
Posted: 8/12/2023