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Next Athletics for the next generation | New junior program set to grow Australian athletics

Published Tue 26 Mar 2024

A new program set to grow athletics participation has launched, with Next Athletics, the official junior athletics program of Athletics Australia, taking shape for children across the country. 

A games-based athletics program for children aged between 3 and 12 years of age, Next Athletics offers a fun and engaging opportunity for children to gain and build essential athletics and life skills that will support participation in athletics and any sport, as well as embed healthy activity habits for life. 

Next Athletics has been designed to drive growth in athletics participation in Australia through an evidence-based program that caters to the needs of modern families and fills a gap in current athletics offerings.  The program will provide a positive and consistent athletics experience for children that is age and developmentally appropriate and that supports physical literacy development.

“Athletics is a sport for all, regardless of age, ability, gender or background, and our goal at Athletics Australia is to make it even more accessible than ever so that everyone can enjoy the physical and social benefits that the sport has to offer,” Athletics Australia CEO Peter Bromley said.

Through Next Athletics, participants learn and develop a variety of important skills that are vital for their all-round individual development, including fundamentals such as running, jumping, and throwing, while also developing coordination, balance, agility, flexibility, and body and spatial awareness. 

“Next Athletics develops skills in a fun, inclusive and age-appropriate format under the guidance of an Athletics Australia accredited coach in a safe and supportive environment, and it will support children to develop the competence, confidence, and motivation to be active for life,” Bromley said.

Uniquely, Next Athletics also provides the opportunity to connect Athletics Australia’s existing programs such as Sporting Schools and Active Bands to a community program to foster an ongoing connection with athletics.

“The development of the program is the result of our junior strategy for our sport and working with our eight state and territory Member Associations to provide a full range of complementary offerings for participants of all ages,” Bromley said.

“There are many organisations and industry experts that have helped shape Next Athletics, including World Athletics, our Member Associations and our delivery partners. We’d like to thank them for helping our vision come to fruition.”

Next Athletics has been designed to be broadly appealing with a focus on enjoyment and learning to support participation in athletics and sport in general. Next Athletics aligns perfectly with the Australian Sports Commission’s recently released National Participation Strategy, Play Well, and we thank the Australian Sports Commission for their consultation and support of the development of Next Athletics.

Next Athletics classes operate each school term throughout the year with weekly classes running for between 45 and 60 minutes across 4 program levels. Designed with flexibility in mind, Next Athletics doesn’t require parents to volunteer and children can opt in and out of school terms as they choose, depending on other sporting, education, and social commitments.

Next Athletics programs commence in Term 2 with more than 50 programs on offer. Initially launching in Victoria and Western Australia, Next Athletics will progressively expand nationally into other states and territories. 

Learn more and register today at

Posted: 26/3/2024