New partnership set to redefine Athletics in NSW

Published Wed 27 Mar 2024

  • Athletics is one of the most popular participation sports in Australia – but in NSW there has been a divide between Athletics NSW and Little Athletics NSW for more than half a century
  • With the 2024 Olympics just around the corner, having a streamlined and unified pathway for Australian athletes to develop, participate and compete is crucial
  • Athletics NSW and Little Athletics NSW announce a new partnership to provide the first single Athletics offering in NSW in 56 years, enhancing and simplifying the experience for Athletes of all ages and abilities

As a nation of sports lovers, Australia’s athletic spirit runs high, with Athletics ranking as one of the most popular activities across the country. But for more than half a century, Athletics in NSW has been divided between Athletics NSW (ANSW) and Little Athletics NSW (LANSW).

With the 2024 Olympics just around the corner and the rising popularity of Athletics, having a streamlined platform for Australian athletes to participate, develop and compete is crucial. With that in mind, ANSW and LANSW are joining forces to launch the NSW Athletics Partnership to simplify and enhance the Athletics experience in NSW.

The NSW Athletics Partnership entails ANSW and LANSW delivering the first entirely unified and single Athletics offering in NSW in 56 years and has three main components – One Affiliation structure, One Membership offering, and One Championships and Events pathway open to all participants in the NSW Athletics community.

The NSW Athletics Partnership ensures the removal of duplicated membership costs and administrative processes, while also significantly expanding competition opportunities and pathways for all members by providing every with the best that both ANSW and LANSW have to offer. The NSW Athletics Partnership also lays the groundwork for other operational efficiencies and savings to be reinvested directly back into Centres, Clubs and Athletes.

The Partnership ensures the following key benefits:

  • The first single Athletics offering and pathway in NSW in 56 years;
  • Kids and parents in NSW will no longer be forced to make any choices as to which type of Athletics offering they wish to take up;
  • Kids and parents will no longer be required to pay two membership fees and two event entry fees and will save money;
  • An end to all duplicated competitions and Championships, leading to less confusion and over-competition of young athletes;
  • The retention of the successful and valuable Little Athletics brand; and
  • LANSW and ANSW will jointly promote the NSW Athletics offerings, providing a platform for increased growth and retention.

The Chair of Athletics NSW, Matt Whitbread, expects the partnership to bridge the gap between the grassroots and elite levels of the sport, providing a platform to better grow participation and improve development programs – allowing Athletes to maximise their potential and experience of Athletics, stating:

“The establishment of the NSW Athletics Partnership is a significant milestone in the history of Athletics in NSW and Australia. For the first time in 56 years, ANSW and LANSW will have a singular focus on providing a unified and exceptional experience of Athletics for our members. That singular focus will be where it should be – on our Athletes and Clubs and not on the administrations.

As a Committee member of a One Athletics Club, I have seen up close the growth and benefits that our members receive when there is a simple and clear single pathway – and now everyone in NSW will have that same opportunity.”

The Chair of Little Athletics NSW, Costa Zakis, is eager for the initiative to finally create a more unified, inclusive, and high-quality Athletics environment for athletes of all ages and abilities, stating:

“This new Partnership puts our kids and Centres as the focus of everything we do and ensures that we will provide them with the best possible experience of Little Athletics and the best possible opportunity to have a lifelong journey with our sport. It is also a direct answer to the longstanding calls from our Centres to end the disconnect and disunity that existed with ANSW and provides a platform for much greater collaboration.

As a parent of kids who have been through Little Athletics and continued into ANSW competition and a long-time Little Athletics Centre administrator, I am excited to see that journey made easier for all Little Athletics kids in NSW and to see more and more youngsters having a lifelong journey with Athletics – as I have enjoyed.”