Athletics Australia's "Running Australia" InitiativeBy Kevin Tiller, CoolRunning Australia - July 2003
Short Summary: In late June, news was received that a number of running events on public roads within NSW were cancelled due to various issues with Police & RTA and increases in fees. This is on top of a general tightening of permission-granting in general over the last few years, which has seen some other events die off. This hasn't just affected running, the sports of Triathlon and Cycling have been similarly affected, however they had sufficient high level representation to meet with various government agencies (RTA, Police, politicians themselves) whereas running had no-one to help put their case.
Apart from general feelings of anger and frustration, both of which have been vented on the CoolRunning Messageboards, runners have suggested either a protest run, or the establishment of a representative body (or both). Athletics Australia which has generally been an "umbrella" organisation for all athletic-type activity has separately been trying to work out how to assist "out of stadium" events, and has commenced a "Running Australia" initiative. It is not clear how successful this has been but certainly Athletics Australia are now very keen to continue a discussion with runners in general.
The question is - do "recreational" runners want to :
- work with Athletics Australia to make "Running Australia" more successful and relevant
- start their own sub-group to represent them in a similar vein to Australian Mountain Running Association or Australian Ultra Runners Association
- both of the above
- neither of the above
- something else ?
Runners everywhere are urged to continue posting their feedback to the Messageboards for all to review.
Athletics Australia have had a "Running Australia" initiative for the last couple of years regarding how to manage "out of stadium" events & runners. It is fair to say that this has not had a high degree of publicity or visibility amongst most runners. There is a brief mention on the Athletics Australia website under "Your Fitness".
Simon Allatson alluded to the initiative when he wrote a note on Coolrunning and since then a dialog has been initiated with Athletics Australia.
Athletics Australia has asked CoolRunning to help publicise their initiative, and have made these documents available for all to read:
- Introduction to the Running Australia Framework
- Running Australia Event Crtieria
- List of 2003 Running Australia Events
- Out of Stadium Objectives
- Letter to every council about the initiative
Message From Athletics Australia (9th July 2003)
Thank you very much for your proactiveness in posting the article on Running Australia on your website. I am confident that this effort will contribute significantly towards progressing our sport.
The level of feedback through this particular thread has been very encouraging and we look forward to your further comments as a representative of this group.
There have been many relevant comments made through these initial discussions and we will endeavour to keep the running community more aware of what is going on through resources such as Coolrunning.
Just a couple of notes in answer to your article:
- Information on Running Australia is available on our website under 'Your Fitness'. We are currently in a new phase of web development and this Out of Stadium area of the website will undergo a number of changes and additions. However, rather than re-inventing the wheel, we intend to work more effectively with, and expand on existing resources, such as Coolrunning.
- Attached below is a copy of the letter that was sent to all Local Government Authorities earlier this year, informing them about Running Australia and inviting them to support this concept. This was simply the beginning of our communications with Government Authorities and we will continue to develop our relationships with these authorities for the benefit of the sport.
- Simon Allatson referred to the 14 point objectives that were set last year. I have attached these below for your information. We have had positive outcomes across many of these areas and we will continue to focus on these areas and adjust them as required.
I am happy to keep filling in the gap for you and look forward to receiving your further comments
Marketing Coordinator - Running Australia
Phone: (03) 9869 5013 (direct)
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